ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that free and fair elections were the only solution to steer the country out of on-going political and economic crises and the present Election Commission was “biased” enough to fulfil the demands.

While addressing his supporters through a video link, which had gathered at public places in different cities to celebrate the victory of PTI in the election of chief minister Punjab, Khan said that he was ready to talk to everyone except alleged thieves –a reference to the ruling coalition in the centre.

If I would talk to the corrupt, the society would ruin, he added “The country is making a new history,” he said, addressing his charged followers. Khan’s victory speech was a repeat of his past rhetoric as he did not make any stunning announcement. His speech gave the impression that PTI would continue to rule Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab without moving towards dissolution of two provincial assemblies to push the ruling coalition to announce early elections.

A day earlier, Khan had given a call to his supporters to come out on Wednesday   in massive numbers to celebrate   as a day of thanksgiving on the election of PTI candidate Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as Punjab CM.

Khan alleged that then Punjab chief minister Hamza Shehbaz tried to rig the July 17 by-polls in connivance with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). “ECP had a controversial role in these by-polls.”  He said that such elections that were recently held in Punjab and Sindh would not be acceptable to the PTI. “The crisis would deepen further with such an election.”

He reiterated the demand of PTI that new ECP should be reconstituted as PTI being the major political party had no confidence over it. “The present commission is biased and partial.” He underlined that PTI approached the ECP eight times and their applications were rejected every time but the courts got them relief in all such cases.

Says he is ready to talk to everyone except alleged thieves

Former prime minister Khan said that it was the same Election Commission that had opposed the idea of introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs), which was the only solution to end rigging in the election. “My number one demand is the formation of a credible Election Commission.”

He said   if he came to  power in the centre again, had a plan to mobilise overseas Pakistanis to generate funds to support the country’s ailing economy as a stop-gap arrangement till the huge trade deficit of the country reduces to zero. He said that overseas Pakistanis would not show confidence in the present rulers as the latter themselves have stashed their wealth abroad.

He also urged the need to reform the justice system. He announced a free ration (food) scheme in Punjab and to restore the health card programme.

He claimed that the PTI was ousted from power in April at a time when all economic indicators showed that the country was making progress. He deplored that the dollar was taking a giant leap against Pakistani currency and this would bring more inflation for the masses.