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Shehbaz rejects Speaker’s invitation for electoral reforms session

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shehbaz Sharif has turned down an invitation of Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser for a meeting of parliamentary leaders on electoral reforms, ARY News reported on Sunday.

Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly, in a statement said that Gilgit-Baltistan has been a sensitive national issue and linked with the cause of Kashmir.

The government should not sacrifice this issue for its politics, the PML-N leader said.

“Federal government should not become a hurdle in transparent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan region,” Sharif further said.

He alleged that his party has decided not to extend cooperation to the government due to its dictatorial behaviour.

“Speaker was not empowered to intervene in electoral affairs of Gilgit-Baltistan,” the opposition leader said.

Shehbaz Sharif said his party will follow the resolution passed and decisions made in the opposition’s APC session.

“The government refused every offer of cooperation by the opposition and used it for its political motives,” he claimed.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has convened a meeting of parliamentary leaders on September 28 (Monday) to seek recommendations from the political leadership over the next elections and the Gilgit-Baltistan polls in November.

The Speaker dispatched invitation letters to the parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly, including Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asad Mahmood, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Akhtar Mengal, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sheikh Rasheed, Ghaus Bux Mahar and Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti.

The speaker National Assembly asked all the parliamentary leaders to propose amendments to relevant laws, rules and procedures for the transparency of elections in Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan.

On Wednesday, President Dr. Arif Alvi given go-ahead to holding of general elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan assembly on November 15.

He had approved a summary regarding the polls sent to him by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Legislative Assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan was dissolved after it completed its five-year tenure on 24 June.

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