Pakistan govt says polls to be held early next year, reacts demands of Ex-PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's political turmoil continues as former Prime Minister Imran Khan's ouster, which resulted in the formation of a coalition government of at least nine political parties led by Shehbaz Sharif, appears to be treading water and may be forced into early elections due to various factors that the current ruling setup may not be able to handle.

Prime Minister Sharif has found himself in a difficult position as he tries to get his coalition partners' leadership and voices within his own political party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), on board with his decision to call early elections and avoid taking responsibility for the country's worsening economic crisis, which he blames on his predecessor. According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif's elder brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has urged him to push for early elections in Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London, is said to have told Shehbaz Sharif not to look forward to the government's term ending and to instead call for early elections, a message that has been amplified by his daughter and PML-N chairperson Maryam Nawaz, who has been speaking out in political rallies across the country.

On the other hand, the ruling government's coalition partners, especially the Pakistan People Party (PPP), have urged Shehbaz Sharif not to call early elections and instead prepare to take difficult, unpopular, and brave economic decisions to help the country emerge from its current economic crisis.

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