The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the federal coalition and PTI to work together and reach a consensus on elections in the country by 4pm on Thursday. However, the Court upheld its order that elections to the Punjab Assembly would take place on 14 May. The Court had initially issued notices to a variety of political parties asking them to send senior office-bearers to the proceedings. Many attended the hearing, including representatives from PTI, PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, MQM-P, BNP-Mengal, Awami National Party, Balochistan Awami Party, PML-Q, and Jamaat-i-Islami. During the hearing, PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi underlined his party’s respect for the country’s courts and underscored the need to move forward by upholding the Constitution. Following the hearing, discussions took place between representatives from the major parties, with PML-N’s Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique calling for elections to take place simultaneously to minimise unrest in the country. JI chief Sirajul Haq also highlighted the importance of communication in solving Pakistan’s current issues and stressed the need for the country’s institutions, including political parties and the government, to remain independent.
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