Musharraf says elections on Jan 8, mum over emergency

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Karachi, Nov 19 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has announced that parliamentary elections in the country will be held on January 8 but did not indicate whether emergency would be lifted for the electoral exercise.

''Inshallah (God willing), the general elections in the country will be held on January 8,'' Gen Musharraf said while speaking at a farewell function for provincial assembly members here last night.

He said he had imposed emergency only in the interest of the country.

Gen Musharraf expressed satisfaction that he had kept his promise over allowing the national and provincial assemblies to complete their terms, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

It was for the first time that the legislature was dissolved on completing its five-year tenure in the country, the President observed.

He pointed out that in the past successive Prime Ministers were ousted by Presidents but he resisted from exercising such powers as they should only be exercised when the country faces any danger.

He asked the coalition partners to show unity for better performance in the general elections.

He clarified that he sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in March to ''avert a conflict between judiciary, executive and parliament''.

''Now when we are going for the general elections, there are certain elements who want to create disturbance and are talking of boycott,'' the President said.

He said those who do not have confidence in themselves resort to such tactics, adding that he expected the political campaign to move ahead in a harmonious manner.

UNI

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