- Former premier and PTI chief reiterates call for general elections after his party's victory in Punjab by-polls
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan emphasised on Monday that without political stability, there would be no economic stability in the country, adding that the only way forward was to hold fair and free elections under a credible Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad a day after PTI routed the PML-N by winning at least 15 seats in the crucial by-elections on the 20 Punjab Assembly seats, Khan said: "The current chief election commissioner is a biased person and we as Pakistan's biggest political party do not trust him."
PTI chairman stressed that the next general elections should not be held the way by-elections in Punjab were held.
“They used all the tactics to defeat us in Punjab by-polls. Police threatened our people. Officers acted as workers of PML-N,” he claimed.
“I am disappointed with the chief election commissioner. How could he let all this happen? He is not competent to run [the Election Commission of Pakistan].”
Talking about the current political crisis in the country, he said that it was the result of a foreign conspiracy against his government.
"A political crisis was manufactured to remove my government," said the former premier, adding that things would have been different if elections were held right after the removal of his government.
He stressed that the political crisis will only deepen if fresh elections are delayed.
Khan said that an "imported government was imposed" on Pakistan due to a conspiracy, but warned that people will not accept any "backdoor deals" anymore.
"I am happy that we are going to become a nation. When we become a nation, the issues of debt and other problems will go away."
The PTI chief said that the country's elite keeps its money abroad because they don't believe in Pakistan.
"Have you ever heard about people from the UK, and France keeping their assets in other countries?" he asked.
Indirectly targeting the leadership of the coalition government, he said: "These people say they are ready to die for Pakistan but don't trust the country."
Giving the example of Pakistan's founder, he said Muhammad Ali Jinnah sacrificed everything for Pakistan.
Terming the results of Punjab by-polls a result of the brewing revolution for a better Pakistan, he said: "We as a nation should be proud of the way people came out to vote, particularly young people because it reflects what the Naya Pakistan is all about.
“I believe the nation has awakened. People have finally understood the ideology of Pakistan,” he remarked.
The former premier said that he was happy today because the nation had finally started questioning slavery. “We have rejected slavery and we will now become a nation with the grace of God.”
PTI chairman went on to say that PML-N's last government did nothing to raise the country's exports. “They left huge fiscal deficits in both their terms. They came to power only to get cases against them quashed. They got bills passed from the assembly," he remarked.
Explaining Pakistan's financial woes, he said today that Pakistan is a country that might default. "Just like Sri Lanka, we're going to default. Moody’s has turned our credit rating negative.
“I will challenge all this in the Supreme Court tomorrow,” the former premier announced.
Recalling his government's interventions to improve the economy, he said the growth rate increased significantly after a long time, adding that all economic indicators were moving in the right direction.
He said Pakistan’s reserves were falling even after the country was about to make a deal with the International Monetary Fund.
"This is dangerous," he stressed before concluding his speech.