Sunday May 26, 2024

Approval from govt's 'backers' crucial for snap polls: Imran Khan

Ousted prime minister says "don't see elections happening now"; continues tirade against Gen (retd) Bajwa

By Web Desk
December 28, 2022
Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan addresses his supporters during a rally at Liberty Chowk in Lahore on October 28, 2022. — Online
Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan addresses his supporters during a rally at Liberty Chowk in Lahore on October 28, 2022. — Online

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Wednesday that rather than the coalition rulers' approval, it is imperative that the powers "backing" them be ready to hold early elections.

In conversation with journalists in Lahore, the PTI chief said that he isn't foreseeing polls to be conducted soon and made claims of a technocrat government under consideration.

"I don't see elections happening now. There is hearsay about a technocrat government being brought forward," said the PTI chief, who was removed from premiership through a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly in April this year.

For the past several months, Khan has been demanding snap polls. His stance intensified after his party's "Haqeeqi Azadi" march came to an end last month and he announced that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies would be dissolved.

However, PTI's members of the National and provincial assemblies have yet to process their resignations.

Meanwhile, Khan expects the establishment's role in conducting general elections but also claims he is not in contact with them.

"There is no contact with the establishment at this time," the ousted premier added.

Warning against any political engineering in the next general election quoting the example of Bangladesh — formerly East Pakistan — the former PM said: "If political engineering is attempted in the next general election, then the results won't be good."

He added, "The mandate of the largest party in East Pakistan was not accepted," Khan said, warning of dire consequences if his party's mandate is messed with.

Circling back to his stance on the former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and his policies impacting the country's economy, the PTI chairman said that the ex-COAS did "great injustice" to Pakistan.

"Gen Bajwa did great injustice to this country, we are standing close to default," he said, underlining how Pakistan's threat to default has increased to 90% which was 5% during his government.

Khan added that while his government's relations with the ex-army chief were "good", the former COAS' stance on corruption by politicians is something he isn't happy about.

"According to Gen Bajwa, the corruption of politicians was meaningless. By amending [National Accountability Bureau] NAB rules, corruption cases worth Rs1,100 billion were dismissed," Khan claimed.

Last week, the former premier claimed that Gen (retd) Bajwa had "struck" a deal with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Slamming the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government, the former prime minister said: "The PDM has become a drawing room party only."

He reiterated that the interests of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the PPP are abroad.

"If the interests of both families are not in Pakistan, then how can we attempt the charter of the economy with them," Khan said, highlighting that the country is under the rule of the "qabza" (occupying) group where law of the jungle exists.

He added that Pakistan's problems could not be resolved without the rule of law's establishment.