ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf reiterated on Saturday that only timely, ‘free and fair’ elections could avert the current economic and political crises in the country.
“There is no other option but to conduct elections, as if the political system collapsed, everything would be controversial,” he told a private news channel. He was confident that general elections would be conducted on February 8, as the country could not bear the burden of another major political crisis. Ashraf maintained that the political dynamics have changed; people have rejected 20 dissident members of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf in the recent by-elections. “Today’s voter is not an old voter; you cannot make them fools in this age of social media; they are monitoring every development closely. The ballot will go in favour of the party that wins their confidence,” he said. He said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had never enjoyed a level playing field; however, it is ready to surprise in Punjab in the general elections. To another query, the NA speaker said the PML-N leaders should focus on their politics as people like Attaullah Tarar were damaging the party’s repute.