Discussion on early election after budget: Pakistani PM

January 30th, 2012 - 1:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Jan 30 (IANS) 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 Peoples 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 foul 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 May 2 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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