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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that party chairman Imran Khan would soon return to Islamabad from Peshawar as talks for early elections are continuing.

PTI chairman Khan has been residing in Peshawar since May 26 where his party is in power to avoid any possible arrest by the government to contain his party’s long march onto Islamabad, which he had declared to announce any time soon.

Talking to journalists, without elaborating with whom the talks for fresh polls are going on; he said that the party had already approached the apex court seeking its protection, and Khan would announce his “Plan B” after the apex court’s verdict.

However, he plainly rejected backdoor talks with the all-powerful military establishment, saying there is no truth in it as the PTI does not believe in any kind of secret rendezvous like other political parties.

He said that the six FIRs (first information reports) against him were contrary to the facts but he would abide by the law which he had done throughout his life. “We’ve always respected the law and the Constitution [and] will continue to do so. We neither wanted any confrontation nor there will be any. All the FIRs against me are nothing but political victimization,” he added.

To a question, he said that Turkey is a time-tested friend of Pakistan which we greatly respect, adding Turkey openly raised its voice and supported our stance on the Kashmir issue.

Taking a jibe at Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, he said that the duo had taken to the street under the pretext of a long march against inflation, but the recent hike in petroleum products’ prices exposed the double standards.

“The government is going to further increase Rs40 per liter in POL prices, while power tariff increase by Rs7 per unit is also on the cards on the IMF [International Monetary Fund]. Rs280 increase per kilogram coupled with flour crisis in Punjab is enough to expose the tall claims made by the father-son duo,” he added.

The former foreign minister said the incumbent “imported government” has no economic plan which will push the country into a serious economic crisis. “If the conditions of the IMF are not accepted, the country’s default risk may surge,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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