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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has told the provincial legislators of his party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province to prepare for the elections: “We would dissolve the assemblies in KP and Punjab this month”.

Addressing PTI lawmakers of KP through a video link from his Zaman Park residence here on Saturday, the former prime minister lamented the coalition government for rejecting his offer for talks. “My offer was in good faith for the sake of our nation,” he said while referring to his earlier invitation to the government to hold talks for the next elections.

“We have conveyed to the government that if it was willing to hold talks on the date of the election then we will sit with them; otherwise, we will dissolve the assemblies very soon,” he warned.

Khan; however, did not give a date when he would dissolve the assemblies, and only directed the lawmakers to go back to their constituencies and prepare for the elections: “I had been empowered by the parliamentary parties to decide when to dissolve the assemblies while both the chief ministers of KP and Punjab have extended their full support in this connection”.

He further said that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervez Elahi has given him the go-ahead: “He was standing with me and would dissolve the assembly on my call”. He also said that if the elections were to be held in 66 percent of the country after the dissolution of the assemblies, the government will be unable to stop the general elections.

Imran reiterated that he was not in hurry for the early polls. He said that the PTI will be victorious whenever the polls were held as its popularity was at its peak. He observed that the people were disappointed with the seven-month performance of this government and they will reject it in the next elections. “However, the country’s deteriorating economic conditions demand snap polls, as it is the only solution to the problems,” he added.

PTI to quit Punjab, KP assemblies this month: Imran Khan

The PTI chief warned that if the economic challenges were not addressed at the earliest, no one would be able to reverse the damages caused by the incumbent rulers. He said that all economic sectors were facing a decline; the foreign investors and local business community have lost faith in this government. “It has no roadmap to address huge economic challenges,” he added.

“Hence, the rulers were reluctant to hold early elections, as they see a certain defeat. After losing the elections they will flee the country again,” he added.

The PTI chief claimed that Pakistan’s economic situation was spiralling out of control and the country was heading towards a default, and still, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his predecessor Miftah Ismail were engaged in a public spat.

The former premier reiterated that the country needed urgent elections to bring political stability and subsequently businesses and investors, as well as, the international markets could regain trust to work with Pakistan.

He averred that the coalition government’s only roadmap was registering cases against the PTI leaders, getting him disqualified and harassing the PTI workers. “The only achievement of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in the past seven months was that they managed to get relief for themselves in corruption cases,” he added.

On the issue of PTI Senator Azam Swati, he instructed the parliamentarians of his party to hold protests for Swati, adding that all should come out as this could happen to anyone in the country.

He said what happened with the PTI senator was the highest level of oppression. “For one tweet, he was tortured; in other countries, people have the right to express their opinions. On the orders of ‘Dirty Harry’, he was brutally tortured, and later his privacy was breached by leaking an objectionable video. The people who took Swati to Quetta had turned Pakistan’s justice system into a joke,” he alleged.

Khan warned if something happened to Swati, they will go after everyone responsible for arresting him. He also asked the judiciary that if it does not protect the rights of people then who will?

Meanwhile, the PTI Chairman held a meeting with the senior party leaders, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, Umar Sarfaraz Cheema, Timur Jhagra, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Musrat Jamshed Cheema.

As per the sources, the meeting reviewed the government’s response to Khan’s offer of early elections and deliberated on the issue of dissolution of the assemblies and resignations.

On this occasion, Imran Khan asked the party leaders to make the party’s plan of action, and later forensic experts and the JIT team recorded his statement regarding the Wazirabad incident.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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