LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday appealed for a dialogue between ‘stakeholders’ at the earliest, saying what was happening in the country right now was not a solution to the country’s predicaments.
While addressing his supporter through a video link, the former Prime Minister warned that no one should take his plea as his weakness, “I am only asking for dialogue for the sake of the country, as it was heading towards destruction, and no one should think that I become weak”. He observed that whenever he called for a dialogue, more pressure was applied on him; the police come outside his home and more warrants are issued.
“We were facing a war to save Pakistan; do not destroy the country while trying to eliminate my party. If steps are not taken right now, we will reach a point where no one can do anything. Now is the time for all institutions to sit with the largest federal political party and try to find a solution to our problems,” he said.
He pointed out that they (an apparent reference to the coalition government) have no roadmap; the country would further decline if they are given more time. He warned that the day the salaried class’ stoves stopped burning and their purchasing power continues to decline, they will come out onto the streets. He averred that a society explodes when conditions become unbearable.
He castigated the government over its ‘failed economic policies’, saying at the time of his ouster, the country’s foreign reserves were US $16 billion and today they have declined to US $4.5 billion. He noted that the country’s exports have fallen by 13 percent during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)’s tenure.
He pointed out that the country was moving fast towards hyperinflation. “The dollar has reached Rs 308 in the open market and it should be alarming for everyone and soon businesses and industries would shut down. Why the PDM was not showing any concern? We should understand that if we do not take corrective measures now then the situation would get out of everyone’s hands,” he warned.
He lamented the government for launching a crackdown on his party without investigating the attacks on the Lahore Corps Commander House. He asked who would like to harm the army; attacking the institution was akin to weakening the country. “Have we ever said that we do not condemn the attacks? The PTI has videos of police officers burning the vehicles during the protests,” he added.
He claimed that attempts were being made to crush his party on the pretext of May 9 violence, wherein military installations came under attack. He continued that the PTI politicians were being forced to quit the party; these ‘forced divorces’ were giving the impression that the PTI was falling apart. He reiterated that the government would only hold elections after the PTI was crushed.
“The fundamental rights have been eliminated and replaced by the law of the jungle. What is happening in Pakistan today contradicts every principle it was made on. There is the worst kind of slavery in Pakistan right now with no such thing as freedom because there are no rights for anyone,” he said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023