Only early election can end economic, political crises: Imran

Former PM thanks PTI supporters for coming out in support of apex court's verdict on election of Elahi as Punjab CM


News Desk July 27, 2022
Imran Khan is addressing the nation. SCREENGRAB

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has reiterated that early elections under a new election commissioner are the only way out of the deepening economic and political crises in the country.

The former prime minister, in his televised address to the nation on Wednesday, said that the Pakistani masses “have turned into a nation”, adding that the way the PTI emerged successful despite all “tactics” by the ruling party was a miracle.

The PTI chief insisted that the country had the right economic indicators when he was in power and he had warned the “powerful quarters” about it.

“We were on a fast pace on the agricultural front with all four bumper crops witnessing progress,” he said, adding, “The way we tackled the situation during the Covid-19 pandemic was also admired by the international organisations.”

“Pakistan was on an upward trajectory and that’s when a conspiracy was hatched against us,” he recalled.

Imran, who was ousted from power via a vote of no confidence in April, opined that timely elections would have saved the country from the "economic crisis that it is facing today".

He also took the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to task for its opposition to the electronic voting machines.

The electronic voting machines (EVMs), he said, could have stopped uncountable ways of corruption but it was opposed.

The PTI leader claimed that there is only one way for Pakistan to come out of the prevailing situation and that is to ensure fresh general elections in the country.

Commenting on the top court’s verdict, Imran said Hamza Shehbaz was illegally made the chief minister of the province.

"The court asked just one question and it was whether the party head or the parliamentary committee made decisions."

The ousted premier lamented that “thieves” then united to oppose the court. The PTI chief likened the verdict to the Panama Papers ruling, saying the PML-N was asked earlier as well to respond about the source of their wealth.

“They think of themselves as those who are above the law,” he added.

Earlier today, the former prime minister took to his official Twitter handle to thank the nation for coming out last evening in support of the Supreme Court's decision, which he claimed upheld the "Constitution and the law".

His announcement came after the devastating blow to the nascent Shehbaz Sharif-led ruling coalition, as the apex court struck down Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling on the election of Punjab chief minister, paving the way for PTI’s selected Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to ascend to the throne in the country’s political heartland.

Read PTI gets more relief from SC

In the conclusion to a hearing that gripped the country for the past four days, a three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, announced an unusually harsh verdict after over a three-hour delay.

“The governance of the province of Punjab in accordance with the Constitution has been subverted whereby the fundamental rights of the people have been seriously infringed,” said the top court in its 11-page short order.

“As a result, the ruling dated 22.07.2022 issued by Respondent No1, Deputy Speaker, the Punjab Assembly is set aside and declared to be void, without lawful authority and of no legal effect,” read the order.

By virtue of the order, PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz lost his status of the "trustee" chief minister.

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