Will dissolve Punjab, K-P assemblies this month: Imran

The PTI chief again extends talks offer to government for snap polls, directs lawmakers to start electioneering


Imran Adnan December 03, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing K-P lawmakers through a video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Saturday. SCREENGRAB

LAHORE:

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has asked his provincial legislators in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to start preparing for the elections, saying, “We would dissolve the assemblies in K-P and Punjab this month”.

While addressing K-P lawmakers through a video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Saturday, the former prime minister lamented that the coalition government 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 talks for the next elections.

“We had conveyed to the government that if it was willing to hold talks on the date of the election then we would sit with them otherwise we will dissolve the assemblies very soon and head towards elections,” he warned.

Imran, however, did not give a date for assemblies’ dissolution and only directed the lawmakers to go back to their constituencies and prepare for the elections. “I had been empowered by the parliamentary parties to decide when to dissolve assemblies while both the chief ministers of K-P and Punjab extended their full support in this connection.”

He reiterated that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi has given him the go-ahead to take decision about dissolving the provincial assembly.

“He [CM Elahi] is standing with me and will dissolve assembly on my call.”

He also said that if the elections were to be held in 66 per cent of the country after the dissolution of the assemblies, the government would be unable to stop general elections from taking place.

The ex-premier also said that he was not in a hurry for the early polls, adding that the PTI would be victorious whenever it was held “as its popularity is at its peak”.

He observed that the people were disappointed with the seven-month performance of this government and they will reject them in the next elections. “However, the country’s deteriorating economic conditions demand that early elections should be held as it was the only solution to the problems at our hands,” he added.

He warned that if the economic challenges were not addressed at the earliest, no one would be able to reverse the damages the incumbent rulers have caused.

Imran said that all economic sectors were facing a decline and the foreign investors and local business community have lost faith in this government. “It has no roadmap to address huge economic challenges,” he added.

“Hence, the rulers are reluctant to hold early elections, as they see certain defeat. After losing the elections they will flee the country again,” he added.

He averred that the coalition government’s only roadmap was registering cases against the PTI leaders, getting him disqualified and harassing the party workers. “The only achievement of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in the past seven months was that they managed to get relief for themselves in corruption cases,” he added.

Azam Swati

Imran instructed the parliamentarians to hold protests for detained PTI Senator Azam Swati, saying everyone should come out for protest against arrest as this could happen to anyone in the country.

He said that what happened to 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, they will go after everyone responsible for arresting him while asking the judiciary “if it does not protect the rights of people then who will?”

Deliberations completed on assemblies’ dissolution

Meanwhile, the PTI has completed deliberations on dissolution of provincial assemblies in Punjab and K-P “as it has become clear that the country is heading towards snap polls”.

Speaking to the media on Saturday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said the current economic situation of Pakistan cannot afford any further delay in general elections in the country.

He highlighted the election commission has to conduct elections on 567 seats out of total 859 seats following Punjab and K-P assemblies’ dissolution. “We hope that all institutions, including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), will perform their constitutional duty and ensure free and fair elections in the country,” he added.

The PTI leader said the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) also has to perform its constitutional role to ensure implementation of the rule of law and justice in the country.

Commenting on the role of the military establishment, Fawad said the establishment has to review its policy and decide whether they want the country to prosper or remain on the list of under-developed countries.

A meeting of the Sindh parliamentary party meeting is scheduled for today (Saturday), he said.

“Our decision making has been completed and all legal and constitutional experts are of the view that no hurdle, neither governor’s rule nor regime change, is possible in Punjab or K-P, '' he maintained.

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