Monday May 27, 2024

Assemblies to be dissolved after preparation: Imran

By Faizan Bangash
December 12, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a press conference at his Banigala residence. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a press conference at his Banigala residence. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan Sunday said the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies would be dissolved at an appropriate time after necessary preparations.

Addressing a news conference here, he expressed the hope that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir would move on the path of ‘Amr bil Maroof’. He said Gen Asim was a reputed military officer and he must be given time.

He alleged former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa played a role in the return of Suleman Shehbaz.

Reacting to Suleman Shehbaz’s return to the homeland, he said, “An absconder responsible for billions in corruption and money laundering, Suleman Shehbaz, is dry-cleaned & returns to Pakistan.”

“Maryam Nawaz reached [homeland] first, then Ishaq Dar was dry-cleaned and now Suleman Shehbaz would be dry–cleaned. We all knew who gave them NRO-II,” Imran said and asked if the Constitution allowed NRO-II.

He feared that PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari would not go into elections.

He came down hard on critics for maligning him on the wristwatch issue and asked them to care about Pakistan which was facing default. He said the media was ignoring important matters and focusing on his wristwatch adding that importance was being given to a trivial matter.

Imran said while he owned the wristwatch, it was his choice to wear it or sell it out. He once again alleged that efforts were underway to implicate him in different cases in order to disqualify him.

Posing a question to the establishment and every segment of the society, Imran asked, “Do they care where the country is heading?”

He warned that Pakistan’s default risk had surged to 100%, as the 88% of local investors did not believe in the incumbent government. As long as this government lasts, the country’s economic instability will increase. “Investors will leave the country whenever they get a chance,” he added.

He also feared that no overseas Pakistanis would invest their capital in Pakistan and rupee would devalue further against dollar.

Criticising the PPP and PMLN leadership, Imran said two families had massively plundered the national wealth. He alleged that corrupt mafia had looted the national wealth and accumulated it abroad adding that they had no concern with Pakistan which was facing the threat of default.

Drawing a comparison between the PDM government and PTI government, Imran said at the end of his government, US dollar stood at Rs178. He further said the PTI inherited a fragile economy in 2018 but its government boosted it. In 2018, when the PTI assumed the government, Imran said Pakistan was facing the largest current account deficit and when the government was out of power, the GDP was six percent.

Regarding the development in power sector, Imran said the PTI established six dams whereas Shehbaz government could not construct a single project. He also stated that people were benefitting from initiatives like Health Card, which also earned praise in the foreign media. Similarly, he said the billion tree Tsunami was praised worldwide.

Referring to the alleged horse-trading at the Sindh House in the past, the PTI chairman said the Constitution suited them only when it benefited them, otherwise they always flouted the law.

He accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the establishment of supporting the ruling alliance led by the PMLN during the recent by-polls in the country. Commenting on the matter of his disqualification in the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PTI leader said that the ECP will earn more “humiliation if it disqualifies” him.

“The Election Commission has no power to disqualify me. Even if they do so, will the nation vote for anyone else?” he said, questioning the reputation of the ruling coalition in the Centre.

Speaking about the several cases he was confronted with following his government’s ouster in April, Imran said the incumbent government wanted to disqualify him through “fabricated cases” and spoke about challenging them in the Supreme Judicial Council.

“We have gone against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in the Supreme Judicial Council.”