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Pakistan

Imran warns of long march if election date not given in 'few days'

  • PTI chairman says his party's preparations are almost complete
  • Govt rejects Imran's early election demand, says premier will appoint the next army chief
Published October 17, 2022
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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Monday that if the election date is not announced by the government in a "few more days," he will call the party's long march towards Islamabad, warning that he would not delay it beyond October, Aaj News reported.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the PTI leader said he wanted to give the government a few more days for the sake of the country.

"I repeat that they still have time to announce elections, and if they don’t, I will begin my march, and my preparations are almost complete," Imran Khan said.

The PTI chief hailed his supporters and voters for the landslide victory in the by-elections on Sunday.

Imran won six out of seven NA seats he contested on and lost the election on NA-237 of Karachi to PPP's Abdul Hakeem Baloch by a margin of over 10,000 votes.

However, he refused to accept the results of NA-237, and demanded re-election in the constituency, claiming that the PPP rigged the election.

He claimed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif wants the elections delayed, as he is afraid of the PTI’s growing popularity.

"Nawaz is waiting for the PTI’s wave of support to diminish before elections could be held," he said, ruling out the possibility of dialogue with the government.

"Dialogue with these thieves is very difficult for me. You can talk to Baloch and Sindhi nationalists, but not with criminals."

IK condemns torture on Azam Swati

Earlier in the press conference, the PTI chairman condemned the custodial torture of his party leader, saying Senator Azam Swati was stripped naked in custody and tortured.

He questioned the logic behind torturing an old man over a "mere tweet."

“He (Swati) was beaten in front of his grandkids and then was taken to the police station where law enforcers handed his custody to agencies, who then subjected him to more torture,” remarked Imran.

Imran said the incident brought disrepute to Pakistan and created an impression as if “the army is out of control and could do anything.”

The PTI chief said his government will call special sessions of KP and Punjab assemblies on this issue.

“PTI senators will file a petition with the Supreme Court, while the party will approach international organisations, the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva to register its concern regarding the alleged torture of its leaders,” he added.

Marriyum reacts to IK's presser

Reacting to Imran’s presser, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb termed the PTI chief a liar, saying his only intention was to create chaos in the country.

She noted that the by-election results had shattered Imran Khan’s narrative against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other institutions.

“Why didn’t the 'absolute fraud' demand the resignation of the chief election commissioner in his press conference today? Why didn’t the ‘foreign agent’ make a speech against the ‘neutrals’ today,” she said while posing a series of questions to Imran Khan.

Marriyum criticised Imran Khan for celebrating the PTI’s further loss of two seats in the Parliament. "Imran Khan still lacks the magic number—172 which was required to oust an incumbent government."

She said Imran Khan can not dictate the government and Parliament after losing two of his own seats in the by-polls.

"Imran cannot change the government by attacking the capital and creating unrest in the country," she said, adding that the PTI chief did not get the license to launch an assault on Islamabad after winning six seats in the election.

Coalition govt rejects Imran's demand for early elections

Hours after Imran's presser, the coalition government rejected the PTI chairman's demand for early elections.

The coalition government, in its statement, said that violent mobs would not be allowed to dictate the government.

It further said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, as per his constitutional prerogative, would decide the new army chief.

The statement noted that the economic revival and rehabilitation of flood-affectees were the government’s top priorities.

"The government, institutions, and the common people have a consensus that political instability would be dangerous for the country," it added.

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