- PTI vice-chairman says his party cannot force early elections without dissolving both provincial assemblies
Former foreign minister and vice-chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Wednesday that party chairman Imran Khan will give his go-ahead to dissolve Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies "in the next few days," Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference along with PTI leaders Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari, and others outside Imran's Lahore residence in Zaman Park, Qureshi said the party leadership called on Imran Khan and reposed its confidence in his decision regarding the dissolution of assemblies.
"During the meeting, the chairman said after meeting with the party's lower leadership, his conviction has been further strengthened that we cannot have early elections without dissolving both provincial assemblies," Qureshi said.
"Therefore, Imran Khan has decided to dissolve KP, and Punjab assemblies with the consultation of provincial leaderships so that the process of by-elections in these two provinces could be completed by the end of March 2023."
Qureshi admitted that the party has been holding backdoor negotiations with the government after PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced to dissolve assemblies.
"Messages were sent to the government while President Dr Arif Alvi also tried to play his role in the matter. But we could not narrow the gap between the government’s position and our demands,” he lamented.
Qureshi's presser comes days after former information minister and senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the party leadership has ratified Chairman Imran Khan's decision to dissolve Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies.
Addressing media in Lahore, Fawad had said it was decided that PTI will no longer be part of the assemblies, adding that both legislative assemblies will be dissolved by next week.
He noted that PTI MPAs in Sindh and Balochistan assemblies will also submit their resignation and their MNAs will approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for confirmation of their resignations.
"PTI will submit 567 resignations in total across assemblies," Fawad said, adding that this will force the ECP to hold elections in these provinces within 90 days as per the Constitution.