ISLAMABAD: Dubbing Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi an ineffective head of state, Imran Khan called upon the government on Sunday to hold early elections to secure fresh mandate “to strengthen democracy” while urging the Supreme Court to reconstitute the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for ensuring free and fair polls.
He was speaking at a press conference at his Bani Gala residence.
Stressing the need to contain the deepening uncertainty in public minds, he said: “The country is virtually in disarray. Our fast failing internal and external security policies coupled with worst-performing economy have created doubts in the minds of ordinary Pakistanis. There is a need to restore public confidence,” the PTI chief said.
Terming fresh mandate vital for the continuation of democracy, he said: “The prime minister (Abbasi) has no authority. He himself claims that Nawaz Sharif is his prime minister,” Khan maintained.
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He said that the new prime minister should win fresh mandate if he wanted to rule the country.
The PTI chief also demanded of the Chairman NAB to ask the Interior Ministry to put names of Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Lashing out against the PML-N government, he also criticised the current government for its weak foreign policy.
Imran Khan said that Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement that was subsequently endorsed by Prime Minister Abbasi and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal that Pakistan needed to “put its house in order” had put the country at risk.
The statement, he said, echoed the narrative adopted by New Delhi at the United Nations General Assembly.
He wondered why the government had not “brought its house in order” four years ago under the National Action Plan.
“PM Abbasi is making irresponsible statements at a time when Pakistan is facing immense pressure from India and America in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s (new) South Asian policy,” Khan reminded.
“Where was our foreign minister when this policy was being developed?” Imran Khan asked.
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He insisted that at that time the ruling party was pre-occupied with the verdict of the Panama Papers case. He said that the ruling party was embarrassing Pakistan abroad.
“Keeping in view the country’s internal and external challenges, I demand that the prime minister must urgently hold elections and seek a fresh mandate,” Imran Khan stressed.
PTI chairman Imran Khan stated that incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also alleged to be involved in corruption in the LNG sector and no one could even think about making a disqualified person the head of any political party.
Imran Khan said that PML-N leaders were maligning Pakistan and its institutions and hell bent upon giving Pakistan Army a bad name.
“We are scared about the (emerging) situation in the country,” he said, adding that the country’s economy was in bad shape.
“The national economy is at the verge of collapse and the government is damaging the country’s industries and reducing exports by increasing indirect taxes,” Khan pointed out.
He maintained that heavy taxation on electricity and gas, these utilities were becoming increasingly expensive.
Referring to attempts to change the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Imran Khan said that Khursheed Shah should no longer be the Opposition Leader.
Shah, he said, colluded with the PML-N to bring their favourite as the chairman NAB.
Reiterating his demand to merge FATA into Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa, he said that the ‘no-man’s land’ should be integrated with the province.
On the Election Bill, 2017, he remarked that the bill “ridiculed democracy”.
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