ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Sunday demanded that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should seek fresh mandate by holding early elections.

“When we have a lame-duck prime minister, who himself says that his prime minister is Nawaz Sharif, he better announce early elections,” Khan told a press conference at his Bani Gala residence.

“Keeping in view the country’s internal and external challenges, the prime minister should go for [taking] fresh mandate,” Khan said.

“Everybody knows why he (Nawaz Sharif) was ousted… if you (PM) don’t accept the decision of the Supreme Court who else will?” he questioned.

PTI chairman also demanded that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) recommend putting Nawaz and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s names on the exit control list.

He criticised the ruling PML-N for ‘failed economy’ and ‘poor governance’. He also came down hard on the government as he held the incumbent leadership responsible for the appearance of a Daesh flag in Islamabad. He suspected that the government was responsible for it, as according to him, it wanted to malign the army.

Khan was also critical of the statements of PM Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal who had stressed the need to ‘clean own house first’ with reference to terrorism in the region.

PTI leader said that these statements have put the sovereignty of the country in danger. “The statement [made by Asif, endorsed by Abbasi and reiterated by Ahsan] is similar to the narrative adopted by New Delhi at the United Nations General Assembly,” he said.

During her address to the UNGA on Saturday, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj called Pakistan an ‘export factory of terror’.

Khan questioned why the government had not brought its house in order during the four years under the National Action Plan.

He said that the prime minister was making irresponsible statements at a time when Pakistan was facing immense pressure from India and America in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s South Asian policy announcement, wherein he alleged Pakistan of offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.

Referring to the recent bill passed by the Senate, which paves way for Nawaz to reassume PML-N leadership, PTI chief said that it would harm democracy in the country. He was astonished how a convicted and disqualified person can lead a political party.

He claimed the ruling party has ruined country’s economy. “We are in a state where we have to take loans for the payment of preceding loans,” he lamented.

He said that the government by increasing indirect taxes was damaging the country’s industries and reducing exports. He claimed that due to heavy taxation, electricity and gas was becoming increasingly expensive in the country.

To a question, Khan said that his party was striving to change the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly though he was not sure of their success. He said that Fata should be immediately merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Answering a question, PTI leader said that the Election Commission of Pakistan was an administrative institution which could not exercise judicial powers and indict a person for contempt of court.