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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Imran Khan questions institutions’ loyalty, renews call for early elections

PTI chief says country is plunging into crisis and only solution for each and every problem is snap polls

By Web Desk
December 22, 2022

Imran Khan addresses party workers and supporters via video link from his residence in Zaman Park on December 22, 2022. — YouTube Screengrab via PTI official
Imran Khan addresses party workers and supporters via video link from his residence in Zaman Park on December 22, 2022. — YouTube Screengrab via PTI official

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday questioned the institution's loyalty keeping in view the ongoing political chaos in Punjab that has led to a serious economic crisis in the country,

Khan, while addressing his party workers and supporters via video link, urged the "establishment" and "judiciary" to play their role to avoid further economic destruction and political instability in the country.

“We are afraid that everything will get out of hand if [general] elections are not held soon,” he said.

The cricketer-turned-politician reiterated his reason to dissolve the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, adding that the country is plunging into crisis and the only solution for each and every problem is snap polls.

Last week, the former premier announced that the dissolution of assemblies in both provinces would be done on Friday (tomorrow).

‘One man responsible’

At the outset of his address, Imran Khan without naming anybody said one man’s decision toppled his government, deeming it “cruelty” as the people are still suffering badly because of it. "One man’s animosity with my party eight months ago was the reason behind the country's plunging into a crisis." 

He added that they want to “kill me in order to remove me from their way.”

Imran Khan, who was removed from power through a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly in April this year, also reminded his supporters about the PTI’s winning by-election despite alleged rigging. He added that his assassination was decided as a result of his party’s victorious stride.

The PTI chief said that even though his party has governments in two provinces and rules over 66% of the country, it has decided the dissolution of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

“I want to remind the nation that the toppled government took the country towards economic progress,” the deposed prime minister recalled.

He added that the PTI’s toppled government gave the highest growth rate in Pakistan’s history where the economy was progressing. “The country’s wealth increased by 5.7% and 6% in the third and fourth years. The country had never progressed to this extent.”

Khan said that he had never seen the nation go into a dark time in his 70 years of life. “Our country is getting stuck in quicksand.”

‘Thieves’

Shedding light on the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government, Khan said that those who were criticising the PTI are now supporting them because of the poor performance of the incumbent cabinet.

He further said that when institutions try to hold these “thieves” accountable they run away.

Khan maintained that he was addressing those Pakistanis who have not laundered their money abroad rather than those who have looted the country.

The PTI was staging a “huge protest” outside the Governor House in Lahore. Ahead of Imran Khan’s address, party supporters chanted slogans against the governor, and also brought a 100-metre-long PTI flag to show their support for the party chairman.

‘Governor held hostage’

Prior to Imran Khan’s address, PTI's Focal Person for Economy Hammad Azhar took a jibe at Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah saying that while he was trying to seal the Punjab CM House, PTI supporters sealed the governor's house and has taken the governor hostage by “staging a huge protest”.

Warning the governor to beware of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Azhar said: “The people on whose dictation you are violating the Constitution will not even release a statement in your favour when needed.”

Punjab political saga

The political situation in the province has remained tense for the last few days ahead of the vote of no-confidence against Chief Minister Parvez Elahi and the possible dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

On Wednesday, Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman declared Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan's ruling unconstitutional and illegal. The latter had defied his directives of summoning a session on Wednesday at 4pm for a vote of confidence pertaining to CM Elahi.

Sibtain Khan, instead, termed the order against the Constitution and adjourned an ongoing session till Friday.