Imran wants army to rectify course

PTI chief says will not dissolve assemblies if elections called in March

Our Correspondent December 03, 2022
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. PHOTO: FILE


PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan on Saturday hoped in a tweet that the new military leadership would have “immediately disassociated” itself from the eight months of previous army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s "actions against his party" as he lamented the arrest of Senator Azam Swati.

Separately while addressing his party’s lawmakers at the K-P CM’s House via video link from his residence in Lahore, he also announced the dissolution of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies in the ongoing month, saying that there would be no negotiations with the government except those for the fresh general elections date.

“When both assemblies are dissolved, the situation will lead to general elections,” he added.

The PTI chief instructed the party’s legislators in K-P to prepare for the elections.

Read Imran strikes conciliatory tone on talks

The former prime minister regretted that the coalition government had rejected his offer for talks.

“My offer was in good faith for the sake of our nation,” he said, while referring to his earlier invitation to the government to hold negotiations for the next elections.

“We had conveyed to the government that if it was willing to hold talks on the date of the elections, then we would negotiate with it. Otherwise, we would dissolve the assemblies very soon and head towards elections,” he added.

Imran claimed that the rulers could not compete with the PTI, so tactics were being used to delay the elections by trying to disqualify him.

The PTI chief said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government had misunderstood that he wanted to negotiate with it for reasons other than the date of the fresh polls.

He further pointed out that after his party dissolved the two assemblies, elections would be held in 66% of the country.

“When the government is engaged in the elections, it would become difficult for it to work,” he added.

Imran maintained that the government was finding it hard to run the country even before that.

“With the task of conducting elections in two provinces, it will become more difficult for it to run the country,” he predicted.

The PTI chief claimed that whether general elections were held in October or in August, only his party would win.

“The people have come to know the performance of the present government in its seven months. They have become so infuriated that government officials can’t even leave their homes,” he added.

The PTI chief maintained that two finance ministers of the current government -- the former one Miftah Ismail and the incumbent Ishaq Dar -- were at each other’s throats while the country was heading towards default.

“They are merely dishing out statements and lacked a roadmap. The business community abroad has lost its confidence in the current government. The economic conditions of the country are going down fast. If the rulers have even the slightest concern about the country, then they should announce the elections,” he added.

Imran maintained that the purpose of PDM parties coming into power was to have themselves exonerated in corruption cases.

He added that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari took the first NRO (amnesty for past crimes) from military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and now they were taking the second one.

Imran claimed that Musharraf had ruled better than both the PML-N and PPP, but he faced criticism for giving them an NRO.

In fact, he added, Musharraf did not have the authority to give them an NRO in the first place.

The ex-premier maintained that the country was again being robbed of Rs1.10 trillion.

He added that the facilitators, who brought the PDM into power, were unaware of which direction the country was heading.

“The rulers are preparing to leave the country. Nawaz and Zadari make decisions for themselves instead of the interests of Pakistan. The current rulers will flee abroad because their assets are lying there,” he claimed.

The PTI chief also reiterated that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was in cahoots with the current government.

The former premier reiterated that Pakistan needed urgent elections to bring political stability and subsequently regain the trust of businesses and investors as well as the international markets to work with the country.

In an interview with a private news channel, the PTI chief shared his willingness to halt the dissolution of the Punjab and k-p assemblies if the coalition government agreed to conduct the elections by the end of March next year.

“If they are ready for elections by the end of March, we won't dissolve the assemblies. Otherwise, we want to conduct polls by dissolving the K-P and Punjab assemblies,” Imran said.

On PTI Senator Azam Swati, he instructed the parliamentarians to hold protests for him.

He added that all should come out to join the protests, as this could happen to anyone in the country.

He said what happened with the PTI senator was the “highest level of oppression”.

“For one tweet, he was tortured; in other countries, people have the right to express their opinions. On the orders of ‘Dirty Harry’, he was brutally tortured and later his privacy was invaded by leaking an objectionable video. The people who took Swati to Quetta had turned Pakistan’s justice system into a joke,” he added.

Imran warned that if something happened to Swati, the PTI would go after everyone responsible for arresting him.

He also asked the judiciary who would protect the rights of the people, then who would.

In a series of tweets, the former premier hoped that the new military leadership would have immediately distanced itself away from the eight months of the previous army chief's "fascist actions against the PTI".

He claimed that the “entire nation was shocked at the vindictive cruelty” the PTI senator was being subjected to and questioned what his crimes were.

“For intemperate language and asking questions which is the right of anyone in a democracy?” Imran asked.

He further wrote that internationally, Pakistan and its military were being perceived “increasingly negatively” because the incumbent federal government was “seen as a mere puppet government”.

Imran added that 74-year-old Senator Swati must be released immediately, not only because he had committed no crime to deserve this mental and physical torture but because the “petulant and vengeful” targeting was undermining the military’s credibility.

He maintained the military’s credibility was “critical for a strong Pakistan”.

Last week, Swati was taken into custody for the second time after a raid at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing Islamabad for allegedly tweeting against senior military officials.

He was later produced before a judicial magistrate, who handed him over to the FIA on a two-day physical remand.

Moreover, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) prohibited the broadcast and rebroadcast of Swati’s speeches, news conferences and his media coverage, including as a guest at a talk show, statements or tickers, on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.


Separate FIRs were filed against the PTI leader in Balochistan and Sindh as well for using “derogatory language” and “provoking the people against the army”.

A day earlier, Swati was shifted

to Quetta aboard a special flight after the Islamabad judicial magistrate handed over his custody to the Balochistan police.

From the Quetta airport, he was allegedly transferred to Kuchlak Jail.


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