LAHORE: Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Saturday that the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies will be dissolved on December 23, according to ARY News.
According to sources, the former prime minister made the announcement while addressing the country alongside the chief ministers (CM) of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervaiz Elahi and Mahmood Khan, respectively.
Imran Khan praised the two provincial heads for their cooperation with his party and said he had discussed the issue with the PTI’s attorneys, adding that the Constitution does not allow elections to be delayed for more than 90 days after an assembly’s dissolution.
The PTI head detailed the party’s strategy, saying that after dissolving the legislatures, the party will prepare for elections. “We will go to the National Assembly and demand that the NA speaker accept all of our resignations rather than just a handful,” he continued.
The former prime minister added that a “lesson should be taught through elections” to the administration and hand it “such a setback that the identities of these crooks are wiped away forever”.
Pakistan on the stage of default
Imran Khan began his speech by criticising the federal government for the present economic scenario and reiterating his call for ‘transparent and immediate’ elections.
The PTI Chairman expressed sorrow that unemployment and inflation were rising, and that foreign trust in the country had dwindled. “Skilled workers and professionals were fleeing in droves,” he noted.
He asserted that Pakistan saw 50-year-high inflation when the current administration took office. “The economy — including industry, taxes, exports, and agriculture — saw a boost during our term,” he continued.
However, he said that the current administration had failed to make progress in one area. According to the former prime minister, the hundreds of thousands of individuals who left Pakistan were competent workers, and their deprivation would be detrimental to the country in the long term.
He also expressed concern that the “band of thieves” was leading the country to ruin. “Ask every labourer, farmer, or businessman, there is a gap between income and expenditures,” he continued.
Imran said that under their previous term, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif had put Pakistan “on the edge of default” in 2018.
He stated that there is a 100% possibility now that a loan given to Pakistan would not be recovered, adding that this ratio was 5% during the PTI’s time.
Govt wants to delay elections
Imran Khan expressed concern that the government might not hold general elections even in October 2023.
“The election commission is conniving with them. A very dishonest man is involved with the government, who will tell them ways to delay elections,” Imran said, referring to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja without naming him.
He also warned the government against employing tactics to delay the elections and said: “I have also spoken to my lawyers and it would be against the Constitutions to delay the polls past 90 days.”
CM Pervaiz Elahi reiterates support
Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi reaffirmed his support for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, admitting that he owed the former prime minister his government.
The chief minister made these statements during a meeting with former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s mansion in Lahore’s Zaman Park, according to reports.
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Moonis Elahi and MNA Hussain Elahi were also in attendance. Furthermore, KP Chief Minister (CM) Mahmood Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Pervez Khattak, and other PTI leaders were present during the meeting.
During the conference, issues concerning the dissolution of assemblies were discussed. Imran Khan, together with the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, will announce the date for the dissolution of assembly.
Speaking on the occasion, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) swore to back the former prime minister’s “every” move. CM Pervaiz Elahi stated that Imran owes the Punjab government.