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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that he will announce the date for the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies during a public rally at Liberty Chowk on December 17.

While addressing the party workers and his supporters through video link, the former prime minister said that he has completed the consultation process with the PTI leadership and lawmakers on the matter and on December 17 he will announce the date of dissolving the provincial assemblies and resigning from the National Assembly.

“Moreover, 125 PTI MNAs, whose resignations were not accepted, will also appear before the Speaker to ask him to accept their resignations,” he added.

He pointed out that after the PTI exits from the assemblies, 70 percent of the seats will lay vacant which will automatically lead to the elections. “As per the Constitution, elections should be held within 90 days of the assemblies’ dissolution. Hence, after the announcement of the date, we will go into election mode,” he added.

Assemblies to be dissolved if election date not given by 20th: Fawad

He believed that after the dissolution and resignations, the situation warrants immediate general elections and the government should announce snap polls; “but, it will not agree to hold the elections with due to fear of defeat”.

“Unfortunately, our corrupt and convict rulers have the least concern about future of our country; they were only interested in getting NRO-2 and plundering the national wealth,” he alleged. The only worry for the rulers is that if they step down, another government would come and reopen their corruption cases. Their interests and the nation’s interests are poles apart, he added.

The PTI chief came down hard on former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (retired) and accused him of giving NRO-2 to the Sharif and Zardari families. “When I was in power, the former army chief asked me to focus on the economy and not on accountability. He also asked me to give ‘NRO II’ to the then-opposition leaders when the PTI government was passing laws related to the Financial Action Task Force. Hence, it was Gen Bajwa (retired) who gave the NRO-2,” he claimed. He reiterated that Pakistan needed a strong army, but that could only happen in the absence of ‘outside interference’.

He criticised his political rivals by claiming that various books have been released internationally, exposing the crimes committed by the Sharif family and Asif Ali Zardari, and advised them to sue for defamation.

He criticised the warm welcome given to PML-N leader Salman Shehbaz on his return to Pakistan; “he should tell the nation how Rs 16 billion came to the bank accounts of sugar mills’ employees”. He also cast doubts over the deaths of witnesses and the investigation officer in the case.

Khan also lambasted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for targeting the PTI leadership for the last seven months and refusing to hear the cases against the rulers. He CEC accused Sikander Sultan Raja of having only one agenda to disqualify him from politics. “Who was responsible for the Toshakhana case and who was detaining PTI leaders? PTI Senator Azam Swati was subjected to punishment for speaking the truth,” he added.

He continued that it was important for all institutions, including the establishment and judiciary, to realise that the country’s economy was standing at a crucial point; “we were facing high inflation, unemployment and closure of industries. The markets have lost confidence in the government,” he said.

He believed that Pakistan was purposely driven towards a default, adding that the default would have an impact on national security which will impact both the common man and ‘institutions’.

He also dispelled the impression that the PTI was seeking help from ‘establishment’; “I want to clarify that I am not asking for help from anyone; I want the establishment to be neutral to have its honour. In the last few years, the distance between the establishment and the public has widened,” he added.

He was of the view that the country needs a strong army, which was in Pakistan’s interest, and this will only happen when the military remains neutral.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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