Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has emphasised and reiterated the stated policy of his political party with a warning that if early polls are called in before doing the required reforms and a code of conduct, then the country could have “bloody elections”.
He made the statement while addressing a National Assembly session during which he insisted that all political parties in the coalition government need to come to a mutual agreement on a minimal code of conduct before going into early elections.
“The polarization that is being seen in the country… If all parties don’t agree on a basic code of conduct before the next elections, then our next election will be bloody.”
Bilawal stated his Pakistan People Party’s (PPP) stance at a time when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif along with the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz’s (PML-N) cabinet of ministers are in London to meet former premier Nawaz Sharif and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to have critical and important discussions about the country’s current financial crisis and to decide on the action plan and timeline for the next elections.
The Shehbaz Sharif government faces a massive challenge to stabilise the country’s economy, which is seeing a worsening crisis with the stock market shrinking on a daily basis and the Pakistani rupee is on a free fall as it has already devaluated to 191 PKR against the US Dollar.
The other major challenge is the increasing political pressure from former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been outdoing his previous public gatherings with bigger and mammoth anti-government protests in small and big cities across the country.
Khan has demanded immediate early elections and is not ready to give the current government, which took over after ousting him through a no-confidence vote, any breathing time to settle down.
Khan has called for a long march towards Islamabad and has claimed to bring with him at least 2 million people, who he says will not leave the capital until early elections are announced.
While these major challenges are no less than a nightmare for Shehbaz Sharif, his coalition partners sitting in the government benches seems to be showing cracks in confidence as one party hints towards going into immediate elections and not be held responsible for the economic mess that is left behind by Khan, while other party is adamant that there can be no elections before electoral reforms.