Pakistan president announces December 16 date but ex-PM Sharif calls for polls boycott.
He was sworn in for a second term as president on Thursday after standing down as army chief, and has said he will lift emergency rule by December 16.
Ahmad is the chief of the Islamist alliance, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, which is also divided over the boycott issue.
“[But] Moderate and democratic forces must work together. I have signed a charter of democracy with Nawaz Sharif and we are committed to [it],” she said.
Election candidates will compete for 272 seats in the national assembly and 577 in provincial assemblies constituencies, an election commission spokesman said, adding that the commission will meet Monday to review electoral procedures.
The election commission spokesman has said the filing of nomination papers had been delayed in about 18 constituencies of the North Western Frontier Province and tribal areas bordering Afghanistan after recent unrest.
Pakistan’s military launched a massive operation in November against fighters loyal to Maulana Fazlullah, a pro-Taliban cleric, in the Swat valley and Shangla districts, where more than 250 fighters have been killed.
Bhutto warned on Sunday that rising tension in tribal areas of Pakistan could result in the “Balkanisation” of the region, and that foreign troops may intervene if Pakistan does not assert its control over these areas.