ISLAMABAD    -    Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan Thurs­day challenged former prime minister Imran Khan by saying him to dissolve the provin­cial assemblies in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the ruling party, if he was sincere in his de­mand of early election.

The remarks from the interior minister who is also the central leader of ruling Pakistan Mus­lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came two days after the PTI regained pow­er in Punjab as a result of the judg­ment of the Supreme Court.

Addressing a press conference here, Rana Sanaullah said that the demand of Khan to dissolve the fed­eral government was bizarre when his party was now in power in the two provinces. “He should first dis­solve both governments of its party,” he said, adding that if Khan was seri­ous in its demand for fresh elections.

Hours earlier, senior PTI lead­ers including Fawad Chaudhry addressing a press conference demanded the government to dis­solve the assemblies and announce fresh elections.

The interior minister said that the PTI chief would never prefer early polls and was making such demands only to discredit the government. He added that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif already wanted the country to move towards early elec­tions. But chairman PTI was making another strange demand of sacking the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja before holding the election. He went on to say that CEC was a nominee of then prime minister Imran Khan and the Constitution provides a procedure of his removal and he couldn’t be removed without fulfilling the con­stitutional requirement. “If PTI has any objection over CEC, it should ap­proach the Supreme Judicial Council (to get him removed),” he said. He added the CEC could not be sacked on mere threats.