PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan has decided to counter the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to appoint Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi as Punjab caretaker chief minister and announced staging countrywide protests from Tuesday (today), calling the new appointee “an enemy of PTI”.
“We will not accept a ‘corrupt’ person as an interim chief minister. We will hold a series of protests in all the cities of Pakistan,” the PTI chief told a news conference via a video link on Monday.
“The first protest will be held in Lahore on Tuesday (today), followed by one in Multan on Wednesday, Faisalabad on Thursday and then on every day in other cities.”
The former premier also revealed that the PTI would approach the superior courts against Naqvi’s appointment and the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) governors for not announcing a date for elections in their respective provinces.
Calling him an enemy of PTI, Imran said Naqvi was “very close” to Asif Zardari and that the PPP co-chairman called him “his son”.
He claimed that Naqvi was part of a team involved in the “regime change operation”, adding that the mastermind of the “plan” was former COAS General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Imran alleged that Naqvi had been “actively conspiring” against the then PTI government and met various stakeholders and political parties to make the “operation” successful.
“Moreover, Naqvi had made a plea bargain with NAB and returned millions of rupees, proving that he was corrupt. Hence, he does not qualify for the top position in Punjab,” he said.
“How could a person with a chequered history be appointed as an interim chief minister?” he questioned.
The PTI chairman claimed that the ECP had deliberately chosen Naqvi to target his party, saying “Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja is a biased and partial man, as he always passed verdicts against the PTI”.
“The CEC has been exposed before the nation after the appointment of Naqvi,” he added.
Imran observed that the foundation of democracy was morality, noting that several rulers in the West had resigned when they committed minor mistakes, showing their integrity.
He explained that the purpose of the interim setup in the country was to conduct free and fair elections. “For this cause, neutral individuals are appointed. My party forwarded four names [for the post of CM Punjab] with impeccable reputation and we thought that it would be acceptable to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government.”
“In K-P, JUI-F had proposed the name of Azam Khan and the PTI accepted it at once, as Azam is a very respectable person in the province,” he added.
“In Punjab, the opposition had proposed [the names of] those persons who were their ‘loyal men’. They are not neutral and impartial at all. Hence, it was of no use to hold elections in such an environment where biased and partial persons are appointed to such important positions.”
Imran recalled that whenever injustice was done in the past, the country suffered the worst, which also caused its disintegration.
Referring to himself, the PTI chairman said the incumbent “imported rulers” were destroying the country to “satisfy their ego” by sidelining a “popular leader”.
“The PTI was trying to steer the country out of the economic crisis.”
Imran urged the people to come out against the ECP’s decision of appointing Naqvi as Punjab caretaker CM and register their protest peacefully.
Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Azam Swati alleged that caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi was a “certified criminal”. “His appointment is a joke with the nation.”
Addressing the media outside PTI chairman’s residence here on Monday, Swati said he wanted to tell the establishment that presently all the institutions had become “dysfunctional”.
“They (institutions) can be revived if they are held accountable or our new military leadership ensures that they work under the framework of law and Constitution, which would bring prosperity in the country”.
“Today, the courts and Federal Board of Revenue are not functioning while millions of dollars are being smuggled across the border while people were not getting justice in the country.”
He urged army chief General Asim Munir to make “history” by “holding the armed forces accountable to the law and the Constitution”.
“[Neither] 600,000 men (army) nor (a) nuclear power can save this country. Only your (COAS) determination to make the armed forces subservient to the law can do it,” he added.
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