LAHORE: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has announced to dissolve Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies on December 23, ARY News reported on Saturday.
According to details, the former premier announced the decision while addressing the nation alongside the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief ministers (CM), Pervaiz Elahi and Mahmood Khan, respectively.
Imran Khan thanked the two provincial chiefs for their cooperation with his party, and said he had consulted PTI’s lawyers about the move, adding that the Constitution did not allow elections to be delayed beyond 90 days of an assembly’s dissolution.
Giving details of PTI’s plan of action, the PTI chief said that after dissolving the assemblies, the party would prepare for elections. “We will go to National Assembly and demand with NA speaker to accept our resignations instead of picking a few,” he added.
The former prime minister said that a “lesson should be taught through elections” to the government and deal it “such a defeat that the names of these thieves are wiped out forever”.
‘Pakistan on the verge of default’
At the outset of his address, Imran Khan criticized the federal government over the current economic situation and reiterated his demand for ‘transparent and immediate’ elections.
The PTI Chairman regretted that unemployment and inflation were on the rise and foreign confidence in the country had eroded. “Skilled people and professionals were leaving the country in droves,” he added.
He claimed that Pakistan witnessed 50-year high inflation after the incumbent government came into power. “During our tenure, the economy — including industries, taxes, exports, and agriculture — witnessed a boost,” he added.
However, he said, the incumbent government failed to progress in one sector. The former premier said the hundreds of thousands of people who left Pakistan were skilled workers and their deprivation will hurt the country in the long run.
He further said that he feared the “gang of thieves” was taking the country towards destruction. “Ask any labourer, farmer, and businessman, there is disparity between income and expenditures,” he added.
Imran said that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif had left Pakistan ‘on the verge of default’ in 2018 during their previous tenure as well.
He said that there is a 100 per cent chance today that if someone gives loan to Pakistan it will not be returned, adding that this figure was at 5 per cent during PTI’s tenure.
‘Govt may try 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 (CM) Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi reaffirmed his support for Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, acknowledging that he owed his government to former prime minister.
According to details, the chief minister made these remarks during a meeting with former premier and PTI Chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park.
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Moonis Elahi and MNA Hussain Elahi were also present on the occasion. Moreover, the meeting was attended by KP Chief Minister (CM) Mahmood Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Pervez Khattak and other PTI leaders.
During the meeting, matters related to dissolution of assemblies came under discussion. Imran Khan will announce the date of dissolution of assemblies along with Chief Ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Speaking on occasion, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders vowed to support ‘every’ decision made by the former prime minister. CM Pervaiz Elahi noted that he owed the Punjab government to Imran.