LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has invited the coalition government for talks on early general elections: “Give us a date for the elections or we will dissolve the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab Assemblies”.
If the assemblies are dissolved in these two provinces, new elections would be held in 66 percent of Pakistan and subsequently it will bring the government to a standstill, as the government will also be busy in these elections, the former prime minister said while addressing the PTI Punjab parliamentary party through a video link from his residence here on Friday.
Khan assured the parliamentary party that the PTI has the full backing of PML-Q: “Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has assured me that he will dissolve the provincial assembly on my call”.
Speaking on the dissolution of assemblies, Khan said the PTI leadership took the decision in the interest of nation. “We have no problem if the elections are held on time. Only the government will face the wrath of people, but the country cannot afford the delay due to its deteriorating economy,” he added.
He pointed out that their demand for early general elections was the only way to salvage the troubled economy: “Pakistan was heading towards a default and the whole world was saying this, as well”. He observed that remittances have started falling while tax collection was declining and thus with bulging loans, the probability of default was very high right now. He further said that unemployment was on the rise while inflation was making new records, adding astonishingly this government has no roadmap to handle the economy.
He also raised his voice in support of the farmers’ community, saying that in their tenure the farmers received many benefits, but now they are in distress due to high diesel prices. “Under these worrying circumstances, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is sitting silently in a corner. There was much hype about this government’s ability to deliver, but it has been badly exposed,” he added
He was of a firm view that the economic instability the country was facing right now was linked to the present political instability. “Economic stability is tied to political stability and there is no other way around it. To restore the investors’ confidence in the government, we need a strong and stable government for five years. Right now, keeping in view the current instability, they are reluctant to make new investments in Pakistan,” he added.
He reiterated that without elections there will be no political stability in the country, adding that the coalition government was not ready to discuss snap polls because they knew they would face defeat.
He again castigated the rulers for having no plan to bring the country out of the economic mess. “They only have one roadmap to disqualify or imprison me and close corruption cases filed against them. The rulers have no interests or stake in the country and hence they will flee the country once they are out of the government. Only the people living in Pakistan will have to bear the mess created by this government,” he added.
He claimed that the provinces were facing a financial crisis, as well, since the centre had not released their funds. He claimed the Punjab government has not received Rs 176 billion from the federal government while the KP government is waiting for its Rs 120 billion.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022