Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif late Wednesday night sent a summary for the dissolution of the National Assembly to President Arif Alvi, formally beginning the process for the appointment of a caretaker setup, while the president approved the summary immediately. The president dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of the prime minister under Article 58 of the Constitution. With the dissolution of the lower house, the current government’s tenure has ended prematurely. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in his farewell address to the National Assembly, expressed heartfelt gratitude to a diverse array of political parties, underscoring their pivotal support and guidance during the challenging term of 16 months. Just hours before sending advice to President Dr Arif Alvi for the dissolution of the National Assembly, the prime minister told the House that the 16-month tenure was the shortest ever period for a government particularly when compared to the plethora of issues inherited from the previous regime. He said besides other unsuitable conditions, the coalition government also had to face other massive challenges like the worst floods and the signing of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) deal which was breached by the previous government to hurt national integrity. He said through its poor conduct and episodes like the “cipher drama” the previous government undermined foreign relations, including with the United States, besides carrying out defamatory propaganda against political opponents. “This is the painful story of the previous government’s four years… During our 16 months, the incumbent government did not victimise anyone. Today, if a party leader has been punished, we are in no way happy over that. One should have the fear of Allah. There is no question of distribution of sweets (to rejoice the punishment),” he remarked. Reiterating the condemnation of the May 9 arson, the prime minister said it would be remembered as the Black Day in history as it marked the “worst conspiracy” against the state of Pakistan, the Pakistan Army and Chief of Army Staff, as well as those who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the nation. He said the House should again take notice of that heart-wrenching incident and also pass another resolution to condemn it. Prime Minister Shehbaz told the House that he would send the advice for National Assembly’s dissolution on Wednesday night. He said that he would meet Opposition Leader Raja Riaz to hold a consultation to finalise the name of the interim prime minister. “These 16 months were the toughest trial of my life during my 38 years of political career when the country was faced with inflation, skyrocketing oil prices, and political turmoil. Who will invest when there will be threats for long marches?” he questioned. He said with the signing of IMF agreement, the risk for default had ebbed away, despite the evil designs of those who tried to sabotage the process. He said the country was steered out of turmoil as a mechanism in the form of SIFC had been put in place to boost investment in agriculture, information technology, mining and exports sectors. The prime minister paid tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and expressed gratitude PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and all of the political leaders from both the ruling coalition and opposition parties for their support and guidance. He said the incumbent government tried to address the problems faced by the Balochistan province and called for collective efforts to uplift the neglected province as the country’s progress was linked with that of Balochistan. He also appreciated the efforts and hard work of his cabinet members particularly Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his “best diplomacy”. Minister for Defense Khawaja Muhammad Asif said economic stability would be the biggest challenge for the upcoming government after the general elections. In his farewell speech, he said the country witnessed stability after November 2022 and further stability will come after the next general elections, he said. The minister stressed the need for collective efforts to put Pakistan on the path of economic stability by utilizing its own resources instead of relying on foreign loans. Pakistan has sufficient resources for attaining self sufficiency, he said. He also passionately appealed to the judiciary to take up the pending tax cases of FBR worth Rs 2670 billion. Had the half of the amount recovered, we would no need to go the IMF or other lending agency for borrowing loans, he said. He also requested for vacating stays granted by various courts several years ago into spectrum related cases worth over $ 1.5 billion. Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah underscored the need for a more stable and consistent political environment to ensure the progress of the nation. He highlighted Pakistan’s unique history of constitution-making and dissolution. He emphasized that the constitution of the country was not followed, fostering a sense of complexity in its governance. Khursheed Shah drew attention to the period spanning from 1988 to 1997 when successive assemblies were elected and subsequently dissolved. He underscored the need for a more stable and consistent political environment to ensure the nation’s progress. Shah paid tribute to the memory of the revered martyr, Benazir Bhutto, attributing her sacrifice to the preservation of the very house he was addressing. He revealed that, in pursuit of restoring the democratic system, the government had extended support even to individuals and groups they initially did not intend to support.