ISLAMABAD: In a statement, that is likely to reverberate in the corridors of power for days to come, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday said that if the prime minister voluntarily announces early polls to save the nascent democratic system, the Pakistan Peoples Party .
However, the veteran PPP leader said the system would be disrupted if mid-term polls are held forcefully.
“It will not be appropriate to force Prime Minister tender resignation on gun point. PPP will not accept any such mid- term polls” Shah remarked.
However, he pointed out that the premier can voluntarily call for mid-term elections.
“In case situation becomes so, the prime minister can himself call for mid-term elections.”
Shah, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, has been criticised of late for being soft on the PML-N government – a change in the party’s stance points towards a strategic shift after being crushed in last year’s general elections by the incumbent PML-N.
Shah went on to clarify that his party supports democracy and wants to strengthen Parliament. Further, he claimed, PPP’s public meeting in Karachi on October 18 is aimed at strengthening democracy. “It has nothing to do with lending any support to Imran Khan or Dr Tahirul Qadri. Our rally will be for strengthening the system,” he added.
The PPP leader slammed PTI chief Imran Khan – who has levelled corruption allegations against Shah in recent times – saying he lives in a fool’s paradise. “Imran’s dream of rooting out PPP from Sindh will never come true,” he added.
Shah also demanded a Supreme Court-led probe into rigging allegations. Referring to the sit-ins in Islamabad, Shah said, “the government is facing the current crisis as a result of their own mistakes.” He went on to add that negotiations are the only solution to resolve the current political stalemate, while warning of a ‘third force’ which is waiting to take advantage of the impasse.
The PPP leader also admitted that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz came into power because of mistakes by the PPP government.
Rs10b defamation notice to PTI chief
Shah also sent a defamation notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan for “hurling unsubstantiated allegations of corruption” against him.
The PPP leader said he would withdraw his claim if the PTI chief tendered an unconditional apology or agreed to pay Rs100 million within a period of 14 days.
A letter in this regard has been written by Senator Raza Rabbani, the PPP’s additional secretary general.
Over the past weeks, Imran has accused Shah of involvement in financial improprieties, claiming that graft inquiries against him were underway.
He also accused Shah of showing undue favour to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in exchange for personal gains.
On September 26, the PPP stalwart said that he pays Rs2.5 million in taxes every year and was never implicated in any corruption case.