President Arif Alvi on Wednesday said that PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan should not have quit the National Assembly. However, he noted that the move had “increased his popularity”.
"If he (Imran) had asked me, I would have suggested not leaving the [National] assembly," he said in an interview with a private TV channel.
The former ruling party resigned en masse from the lower house of parliament after Imran was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion by the then united opposition and the incumbent ruling alliance in April.
The president observed that elections were the best way to communicate with the masses. “People are engulfed in problems, so they see a ray a hope in polls.”
Alvi opined that if the opposition and government held talks, “something positive” would come forward.
"If the opposition and the government hold talks, something constructive can come out for Pakistan," he said, and added that the government should focus on controlling inflation and other problems of the people.
The president observed that there was a state of "panic" on the political landscape in the country, saying that dialogue would “lower the political temperature”.
"[Finance Minister] Ishaq Dar also has a positive attitude towards dialogue," he said after a meeting the finance minister earlier in the day.
Talking about the meeting, Alvi said Dar gave different suggestions about the imports whereas he also proposed measures to save electricity.
He said the new military leadership was serious about being apolitical. "Now all the responsibility falls on politicians. They should get serious about working together so that problems can be solved," he said.
“When consultations about the appointment of army chief can take place in London, there was no harm in taking advice from people in the country,” Alvi maintained while referring to his meeting with the PTI chief before the all-important appointment.
"Consulting with everyone is better so deadlock can be avoided which creates problems."
He said democracy had been stabilised in the country, noting that martial law cannot be imposed and added that Pakistan would never default.
The president said he was convinced that early election was the “best solution” to the current crisis. "People should have confidence that the government reflects their mandate. Whoever wins should have the mandate of the masses," he said.
Upping the ante in his drive to force the coalition government into early elections, Imran on November 26 said he had decided to opt out of a “corrupt system and quit all assemblies”.
Moreover, he called off his much-anticipated long march on the federal capital, saying he anticipated havoc and disorder in the country.
Imran – whose party is at the helm of affairs in power in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan – sprung the surprise card on the government in an apparently proverbial “burn-the-boats” decision, staking his provincial governments on a bid to trigger early elections “as the nation stands at the crossroads”.
Earlier this week, the PTI chief said that his party would quit the Punjab and K-P assemblies during this month (December).
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