SUKKUR – Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has said that the assemblies would be dissolved on March 16 while the general elections will be held in May.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday evening, he said that the responsibility of holding general elections on time falls squarely on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). "The government will not stay even a single hour more after the completion of its tenure and the caretaker setup will be installed on March 16," he reiterated.

He said consultations were ongoing with political parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)as well as Minhajul Quran chairman Tahirul Qadri for the nomination of a caretaker prime minister.

He said the revived local bodies system will continue to remain in place even after the upcoming general elections, making it clear that Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has no intention to bring any change in the setup.

 The minister said the government makes decisions according to the wishes of the people.

He asked the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to propose names for the caretaker setup.

The Federal Minister said the decision to restore Balochistan government will soon be made and in this connection powers have been delegated to the incumbent Governor.

Referring to the issue of new provinces, the religious minister said that the people of southern Punjab would realise as who are supporting and opposing them. He said the people of Punjab would decided in the next elections in this regard.

He said the Parliamentary Committee had passed the bill pertaining to the formation of a new province in the Punjab. The bill will now be presented before the Senate by Tuesday or Wednesday, he added.