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PTI threatens protests if polls not held within 90 days

PTI chairman vows to file a case in connection with “attack” on his Zaman Park residence

By Web Desk
April 01, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference. — AFP/File

Irked by the postponement of general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday threatened to launch nationwide protests if polls are not held in the provinces within the stipulated time frame of 90 days.

In line with the direction of the PTI chairman, the Punjab and KP assemblies — where his party was in power — had been dissolved in January. But the Election Commission of Pakistan has pushed the polls to October 8, citing security threats and the inability of authorities to cooperate in elections.

During an interaction with journalists in Lahore, the former prime minister — who was ousted from the office via a no-confidence motion in April last year — said that the caretaker governments in the provinces should have played a "neutral" role but unfortunately, they were not fulfilling their responsibilities.

Responding to a question, the PTI chairman asked under which law they (the coalition govt) will restore the provincial assemblies in KP and Punjab — if the polls do not take place within the stipulated time.

Referring to the police raid at his residence in Zaman Park on March 18, Khan lashed out at the Mohsin Raza Naqvi-led interim Punjab government and remarked that there was no reason for the “attack” on his house in his absence.

The Punjab police had dismantled the main gate of Khan’s residence with the help of heavy machinery and broke into his house when he left for Islamabad to attend a hearing in the Toshakhana case.

Terming Punjab’s interim CM Naqvi, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar, and CCPO Lahore Bilal Saddique Kamyana as “criminals”, Khan said that a case has been prepared in connection with the “attack” on his house, adding that it would be filed soon.

Talking about the current political situation, the deposed premier said that PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and PTI President Parvez Elahi have been given the task to restore contacts with the other political parties.

To another question, Khan said: “Now, President Arif Alvi is not playing any role [for bridge-building] between us and the establishment.”

Berating former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, Khan revealed that he had put pressure on him as he “wanted friendship with India”.

“Bajwa should be held accountable by the army,” he asserted.