ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday demanded fresh general elections in the backdrop of scenario emerged after the disqualification of Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister, besides announcing to hold countrywide series of protest demonstrations against hour-long electricity loadshedding and inflation.
“The country’s situation has reached to an extent where we see fresh general elections as the only solution,” stated Chairman PTI Imran Khan while addressing a news conference here at party’s central office after chairing a meeting of party leaders.
The meeting discussed in detail the future political strategy of the party after a recent verdict of the Supreme Court in a contempt case that has pushed the country into fresh political turmoil just months before widely expected general elections.
“The Supreme Court has directed through its short order that President should take steps to ensure democratic process in the country and fresh elections will be in continuation of democracy,” observed Khan, adding in the same breath that free and fair elections were impossible until Asif Ali Zardari was holding office of the President of Pakistan.
Congratulating the whole nation for “historic decision” of the court, which has locked a weak civilian government in crises, Imran said for the first time in country’s history the court had taken into account the powerful. Imran said now the time has come to exert pressure on the government for its ineptness and corruption spanning over four and a half years that resultantly ruining the state of country’s affairs and making harder for the poor to live on.
In this regard, Khan announced to hold a series of protest rallies across the country against power outages, saying on June 27 he would visit Faisalabad and take part in protest rally there. “As part of protest drive, I will visit the whole country,” Imran said.
He was of the view that government took no practical step to overcome the energy crises and remained busy in doing corruption in power sector and today they don’t have money to pay to IPPs. To a question, Imran said whosoever would assume office of the prime minister would be liable for writing letter to Swiss authorities to reopen corruption proceedings against President Zardari. The PTI chief also dispelled an impression of developing any soft corner for the opposition, PML-N, as were claiming by some quarters.
As responding a question about PTI’s future political alliance with any party, Imran said, “Today, N-league that is a party of status-quo, is weighing options to get to the power once again. They ran Punjab government for three years in coalition with PPP and then suddenly they (PML-N) came to know that Zardari is a corrupt man.”
He said PTI would not forge alliance with parties of status quo, who could not bring change, however, PTI had endorsed Fakharur Din Ibrahim’s name as Chief Election Commissioner as was done by PML-N.
Talking about memogate scandal, Imran said, as per findings of the ever-powerful judicial commission in country’s history formed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, it is apparent that former Ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani, worked against the interests of the country. “Hussain Haqqani is found guilty of wrongdoings but question is what role President Zardari played in whole sage. If President Zardari’s link establishes then PTI would expect resignation from him,” Khan said.
To a question about possibility of election boycott if it held under President Zardari, Imran said, “PTI will certainly contest next general elections under any circumstances.” Imran said that his party would not support any violent protest against electricity loadshedding, adding the Punjab government could not protect the life and property of the masses during such demonstrations.
He said holding of intra-party elections was the top priority of PTI and that soon the details of assets of party leaders would be displayed on party’s official website.