LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has said his party will take to the streets if any partial caretaker set-up comes into existence.
Imran also disagreed with the nomination of Asma Jehangir as caretaker premier, saying that she is closely aligned with the PPP and has shown disrespect to the judiciary.
Addressing a press conference here Monday, the PTI chief said true change could only come through a free and fair election and through an elected government which came to power with public mandate.
To a question regarding the sit-in of the PML-N to be staged outside the parliament House, Imran stated his party wouldn’t become part of it at all. Imran went on to say that three critical ingredients for a free and fair election included an Election Commission that was not only to be seen to be fair but has the requisite power to ensure that all electoral laws are strictly observed, a caretaker government that was neutral, and came up to the expectations of people. Thirdly, he said it also demanded a president who was truly a symbol of the state and neutral among all political stakeholders.
He added that President Zardari wasn’t appropriate person to hold a fair and free election and must resign. He also warned if any move was made to rig the polls it could have serious impact on the integrity of nation.
To another question, Imran said the PTI had complete faith in the Chief Election Commissioner but it wasn’t satisfied with the other members of the body. Calling for its reconstitution, Imran said it was necessary for ensuring fair polls.
Moreover, Imran Khan said another important ingredient in the formation of the caretaker government, particularly the prime minister, was that the person must be completely neutral/not prejudiced against any party. Besides, he must have impeccable personal integrity and respect for national institutions particularly the judiciary Similarly, he said the person must commit not to fundamentally change the contours of national policy - in the management of the economy, foreign policy or any other critical national area he must have basic management ability, so that elections and the government can be managed.
On grounds of these criteria, Imran said the PTI disagreed with Asma Jahangir’s nomination as the caretaker premier. “She has a history of opposing the PTI and has given statements about it. She is closely aligned with the PPP. She has shown continuous disrespect for the judiciary. We therefore do not think that she fits the criterion,” Imran added. Imran said the country had gone through a tumultuous phase in January with Tahirul Qadri’s long march. He said he had great regards for Tahirul Qadri but events had proved that our analysis was true.