Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government has decided to complete its constitutional tenure till August next year, a media report has said, ending weeks of speculation about early elections as demanded by ousted premier Imran Khan.
The newly-formed government under Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is under pressure due to the economic situation as the US dollar is at a historic high against the Pakistani Rupee.
The cash-starved country is in dire need of foreign assistance due to its depleting forex reserves and growing repayments and import financing requirements.
Ousted prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Khan has repeatedly demanded snap elections.
The 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was voted out of power on April 10 through a no-confidence motion, becoming the first Pakistan prime minister to be ousted unceremoniously by Parliament.
The decision to complete the term until August 2023 was made during a meeting of the coalition partners chaired by Prime Minister Sharif, where the country's overall political situation was discussed, sources told Geo News.
The allies of PML-N assured Sharif that they are with the party and would stand with them on every decision. They also advised him to take immediate measures to stabilise the economy, according to the sources.
The participants of the meeting decided that the government would complete its constitutional tenure in a bid to take the country out of the economic turmoil, the report said.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan)’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and federal ministers Azam Nazeer Tarar, Khawaja Asif and Marriyum Aurangzeb were part of the meeting.
Officials said that the coalition partners advised the economic team to take immediate measures to stabilise the Pakistani rupee. They also recommended finalising an International Monetary Fund programme.
The rupee-dollar parity slipped to the lowest ever level of Rs 195.65 to a dollar on Thursday amid uncertainty in the market.
Last week, the Asian Development Bank indicated that it will provide USD 2.5 billion in additional loans to Pakistan, including USD 1.5 billion before the end of this year.