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Friday February 23, 2024

Assemblies won’t be dissolved if elections are held in March: Imran Khan

Imran shared his willingness to stop the dissolution of Punjab and KP assemblies if the Cenre agrees to conduct elections by the end of March next year

By News Desk
December 04, 2022
Imran Khan addressed the parliamentary party from the KP assembly on December 3, 2022. Screengrab of a Twitter video
Imran Khan addressed the parliamentary party from the KP assembly on December 3, 2022. Screengrab of a Twitter video

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday shared his willingness to stop the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies if the coalition government agrees to conduct elections by the end of March next year.

“If they are ready for elections by the end of March, then we won’t dissolve the assemblies. Otherwise, we want to conduct polls by dissolving the KP and Punjab assemblies,” Khan said in an interview with a private news channel.

He added that his party Sharif family for forty years and their only motive is to loot the nation, send the money abroad and then receive an NRO to waive their corruption.

He said the Sharif family was unable to control the army and confronted it. Even PMLN’s Miftah Ismail and Ishaq Dar were squabbling with each other on the state of economy as the country, according to him, headed towards a default.

“Chiefly responsible are those who imposed these rulers on us,” he said, adding that the economy was going down and elections are the only solution as they are heading for dissolution of assemblies.

When Imran Khan was asked on claims by PMLQ leader Moonis Elahi that they supported the PTI on the directives of former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa during the no-confidence motion, he replied that it was his greatest weakness to trust Gen Bajwa. “We received different signals but they claimed to be neutral and assured they wanted continuity,” he said. Their game plan started when they removed General Faiz Hameed.

He said that Shaukat Tarin sat with them (establishment) for two hours and warned them that bringing his government down will lead to economic instability. “They told him and me that there will be continuity and there was not need to be watchful.” Instead, the allies told him that a message was received “to switch over to the other side.”

Imran Khan said he eventually sent a message that he will go to the public and seek their support. He said the people supported him after witnessing the ‘atrocities’ meted out to him during the last seven months. “I asked them on which side they were. I told them that if they were on the other side, then I will have a different strategy,” he added.

Imran said that he came to power through people’s support and was never nurtured by any military nursery, adding that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto used to call General Ayub “daddy” while General Jillani brought up Nawaz Sharif.

Imran said that he was not the only person who General (retd) Bajwa deceived as there were others, including his colleagues. He said that he advised them (establishment) that they need to do accountability and without the rule of law, no progress was possible but they were busy in making deals with them (then opposition leaders). Whenever they were arrested, they would come out after a week as NAB was not in our control. He said that they (establishment) didn’t think corruption was a bad thing.

He said a message has been sent to the new military establishment and President Alvi has also delivered the message. “What happened in the past seven months? Did the party crash? Today we have such support that no party ever held in history. Even Bhutto didn’t have the support we have today,” he claimed.

Regarding the conditional talks offer with the government, he said the only discussion will be on announcing the date for general elections. He said 66 percent of the seats will be vacated and the best option is holding general elections.

Imran said the party can wait till March next year to hold the general elections and will decide to dissolve assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this month. CM Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has given him the authority to dissolve the assembly. However, he did not answer whether a written summary had been given to him by the chief minister.

Imran said it was a mistake to give an extension to former army chief General (retd) Bajwa. He said extensions should not be given in the military but the situation was different and they had no option.

Regarding the situation of PTI Senator Azam Swati, the PTI chairman said he was disappointed that no action was taken by the court. He said the judiciary should look at the injustice and take notice as people have trust in them. The new set-up should distance itself from the thing that is hurting the whole institution. “But till now it doesn’t seem that they have changed policy.” He said they have approached the Supreme Court on the case of Azam Swati, Arshad Sharif’s murder and assassination attack on him. On PTI May 25 protest episode in Islamabad, Imran said that police told them that they were pressurised by the establishment.

He appealed to the new set-up (of establishment) to save the country. He said that he wants to see Pakistan a free country and the army strong.

When asked about claims by PMLN London spokesperson Tasneem Haider, he said those wanting to remove him from the way were those who loot the nation and send the money abroad. He vowed to confront the PMLN and PPP during the next elections.