Islamabad, Nov 11: President Pervez Musharraf has said that he hopes new parliamentary elections can be held in Pakistan by January 9. I would request the Election Commission to hold the elections as soon as possible, as fast as possible, which means, if you calculate 45-60 days from November 20, we should have the elections before 9 January, which happens to be the start of Moharram," he said.
Musharraf said that national and regional assemblies would be dissolved in the coming weeks and that elections would take place on a single day. He tasked the Election Commission with preparing for the vote, and said it was up to them to determine the date.
Musharraf was addressing his first news conference since declaring emergency rule on 3 November. He defended the decision to impose emergency rule and insisted he had done nothing wrong and did not violate the constitution. "I stand by it because I think it was in the national interest."
The BBC quoted Musharraf as saying that it was 'the most difficult decision' of his life. But he did not say when the emergency would be lifted.
Eight days ago Musharraf imposed emergency rule, suspending the Constitution and firing the Supreme Court's Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
His allies" abroad and political opponents in Pakistan have been calling for the emergency to be lifted as soon as possible. arlier, Musharraf had said Pakistan would hold parliamentary elections before February 15.