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Pakistan court orders provincial polls to go ahead, roiling politics

Imran Khan, government urged to negotiate on elections to avoid deeper crisis

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad has ruled that provincial elections must go ahead -- a verdict that poses a serious challenge for the ruling alliance.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that assembly elections should be held in two provinces within 90 days of their dissolution, as stipulated in the constitution, dealing a blow to the federal government and opening a new chapter in the country's political crisis.

The verdict is a victory for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been pushing for a snap general election since he was removed from office in a no-confidence vote nearly a year ago. As part of his strategy to increase the pressure, Khan in January had his party dissolve two provincial assemblies where it held control, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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