Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan has said Asma Jahangir is not acceptable to his party as the caretaker prime minister because of her views on the Supreme Court and her closeness to the PPP.
Addressing a press conference at the PTI Central Media Office here on Monday, he said the caretaker PM should be impartial, honest and respectful towards the SC. He said the PTI would accept only an impartial caretaker setup and an independent election commission. He stressed the need for banning use of development funds by those in governments for their election campaigns.
Khan said only fair elections would save the country from future crises. He said the people had been facing price hike, electricity and gas shortage, corruption and a poor law and order situation. He said only a strong government could end their sufferings.
He said the Indian election commissioner had ensured a smooth sailing for democracy in India. He said there were some constitutional requirements for the caretaker PM. “We have learnt that the PML-N has proposed Asma Jahangir as caretaker PM. The PTI has reservations about her. Jahangir is close to the PPP. She has issued statements against the PTI and the SC.”
He said if the government tried to appoint Jahangir as caretaker PM, the PTI would protest the decision. He said she did not come up to the requirement of the Constitution for a caretaker PM. He said the PTI had not been consulted in this regard.
About a new province to be created out of Punjab, Khan criticised both the PPP and the PML-N, saying it was a political stunt. He said the two parties remained in power for five years but failed to take the initiative earlier. He said protests were being staged in Mianwali and Bahawalpur against the proposed contours of the proposed South Punjab province.
Responding to a question about a recent survey by the IRI, which showed PTI to be losing ground, he said it was not a credible survey. He also asked why the IRI management had not named the most popular political leader of Pakistan.
He said the PTI would not join PML-N demonstration in Islamabad. He said the PTI would not boycott general elections.
About talks with Jamaat-i-Islami chief Munawar Hassan, Khan said the PTI respected him and negotiations with him would continue for the betterment of the country.
To a question about rumoured divisions in the PTI, he said: “I am happy that party workers are participating in elections for their leadership. He said the party rejected the dynastic politics.”
He again demanded that President Zardari resign. He said fair elections would not be possible if he continued to hold the office. He said he was also the chairperson of a party contesting the polls.
He said the long march by Dr Tahirul Qadri had achieved two things – a month for scrutiny of candidates and an assurance that all parties will be consulted on appointment of caretaker governments. He said robust scrutiny would oust about 60 per cent of the incumbents from the election.
Khan was accompanied by Javed Hashmi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen and Shafqat Mehmood.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.
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