Discussion on early polls after budget: Pak PM

A ruling Pakistan People’s Party minister said that the elections may take place in October or November.

Islamabad: The Pakistani government may discuss with the opposition the issue of early general elections after the budget is presented in May, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

In normal course, the general elections are slated for 2013.

Gilani said here that the timing of the elections could be worked out in consultation with opposition parties, Dawn reported.

The Prime Minister is back after attending the World Economic Forum in Davos.

A ruling Pakistan People’s Party minister told the daily that the elections may take place in October or November. He added that the PPP was to hold consultations to reach an agreement on the election date.

On the defence secretary being axed, Gilani said he had sacked Lt Gen (retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi for having created a misunderstanding between the civilian leadership and the military and that it was now a closed chapter.

Gilani had run afoul of the powerful Army after sacking Lodhi.

The past few months have been quite tense in Pakistan following a clash between the powerful army and the political leadership. A secret memo said President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military takeover following the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 02 last year.

Gilani had taken on the Army by charging the Army chief and the spy chief`s court affidavit in Memogate of being unconstitutional, heightening tension. He, however, took a dramatic about turn by retracting that statement.


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