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Imran Khan demanded early elections

25 September, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday demanded that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi must seek a fresh mandate through early elections.

“In order to save and strengthen democracy, you [PM Abbasi] should move towards elections. Seek the people’s mandate,” he told a press conference in the federal capital. “This is necessary for democracy.”

Imran demanded that the names of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief be placed on the exit control list (ECL).

Talking about Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s iqama case, Khan said the minister would meet the same fate as Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in Panama Papers case.

The PTI chief said his party has lost confidence in the incumbent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). “Supreme Court should dissolve the ECP and reconstitute a new one for holding early elections,” he said. “The ECP doesn’t have the right to issue contempt notices to anyone.”

The PTI chairman said PM Abbasi still calling Nawaz Sharif his prime minister was disrespect to the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict.

Imran Khan branded the approval of Electoral Reforms Bill, 2017, that paved way for Nawaz Sharif to lead Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as anti-democracy. He deplored that a bill was passed to bring back a disqualified person to head a political party. “These kinds of bills are not passed in a true democracy,” he said.

The PTI chief said that Abbasi was a weak prime minister who only endorsed the stance of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in his interview with the US media and thus disgraced Pakistan in the international community. He questioned why the government did not ‘bring its house in order’ during four years in power under Nawaz Sharif. The statement is similar to the narrative adopted by New Delhi at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he added.

Khan said that Washington’s South Asian policy had humiliated Pakistan on the international platform and that there was nobody to speak for the country. He added that Trump’s statement placed the blame for America’s failed policy in Afghanistan on Pakistan. “Where was our foreign minister when this policy was being developed?”

Imran called for FATA to be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, calling it a no man’s land. He questioned why consensus was not being formed over the issue.

On the economic front, Khan 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. He said that under the current tax scheme, the poor were subsiding the rich.

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