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Pakistan

PM Abbasi to make final attempt to agree PPP on delimitation bill

Islamabad (Monitoring Desk): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbas will make its final attempt to develop consensus with Pakistan Peoples Party on delimitation bill.

“National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and other PML-N members have been in constant contact with the PPP leadership on the bill, but the party is not budging from its stance. The PPP had voted for the delimitation bill in the National Assembly but is refraining from doing the same in the Senate. It appears that they are doing so at the behest of someone else,” Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said.

Ahsan Iqbal said if the delimitation bill was not passed forthwith, there were chances that the country would have a caretaker set-up “for a longer period”, which would not be acceptable to the PML-N. “A caretaker set-up that goes beyond its constitutional limit of 90 days will be a recipe for rigging and interference in the election,” the minister added.

He said that if the bill did not pass on time, the matter would have to be deferred till April for a final notification on the census, which meant that the Election Commission of Pakistan would need another five to six months to conduct delimitations. “Zardari sahib wants to scuttle the process to have a caretaker set-up for a longer period at someone else’s behest. Therefore, it is imperative that all parliamentary parties should support the bill in the Senate so that 2018 elections could be held on time,” he said.

“The prime minister will speak to the Sindh chief minister on today to make another attempt to take the PPP on board,” said the senator, expressing wonderment at the PTI’s stance that they would vote for the bill if the PPP did. “We see a conspiracy to delay the 2018 elections. Who is behind the PPP forcing it to oppose the bill? By not voting for this bill, the PPP will be, in fact, voting against itself as we are near the completion of our tenure…as who knows who will come to power after the next elections,” he said.