LAHORE – The PML-N wants the general elections to be held at the end of April since the date is in line with its poll preparations, well-placed party sources told this scribe.

The sources said that the party leadership had already started preparing for the elections with April in mind, firmly believing that going beyond this date will not suit their chances. “Since the government’s tenure will end in March, the establishment of interim government in January and the holding of general elections in April augur well for democracy.”

The sources added that any delay would mean that the government wanted to stretch its tenure and the elections were in doubt. “The PML-N will not allow the government to do so,” they warned.

They feared that the government might indefinitely postpone the elections, if they were not held until April, on the pretext of severity of weather or the looming national budget. The sources confided that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had directed office-bearers at the divisional level in recently-held meetings with them to prepare for the elections with April in view. “The top party leaders from Lahore also advocated for the holding of elections in April.”

Party sources also revealed that the talks between the government and the opposition for a caretaker prime minister had failed to make headway and no name had so far been finalised.

They said that the PML-N wanted the caretaker prime minister to be from Balochistan and had also proposed the name of Mahmood Khan Achakzai of the PakhtoonKhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) in this regard. The government’s response to the proposal was yet awaited but a positive development was expected by year end, they added.

PML-N Senator Tariq Azeem told this scribe that his party is ready for the elections and that they must not be held after April. He hoped that consensus on caretaker prime minister’s name would be soon evolved, as happened in the case of chief election commissioner.