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PPP suggests Nawaz to resign; announce midterm elections

01 October, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: PPP leader and opposition head in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Tuesday favoured a call for mid-term elections and suggested that the prime minister can choose to resign.

"We are in favour of mid-term election but not by force," Shah stated while talking to media outside the Parliament House. He said that he does not support the demand of prime minister's resignation.

"PM should himself decide while keeping in view the prevailing political situation," he added. Shah said that the current political stalemate can only be resolved through dialogue. The opposition leader has served a legal notice on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for levelling allegations of corruption on him.

Shah sought an apology from the PTI chief for his allegations, which he said were intended to defame him, and demanded Rs 10 billion in damages if the former chooses not to tender an apology. Imran Khan had hurled the allegations at Khursheed Shah on September 19 when he stated that the opposition leader was supporting the government because two corruption cases were pending against him in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Shah had on September 20 asked Imran to prove the corruption allegations within three days or face a court of law.

After getting no response from the PTI chief, Khursheed Shah had warned that his lawyers had prepared a legal notice to serve on Imran Khan. On Tuesday, he stated that Imran Khan had wrongly claimed that corruption cases were pending against him in NAB. The opposition leader also relentlessly criticised the incumbent government "for its mishandling of the current political turmoil". "Measures should have been taken with regard to PTI's demands of opening four constituencies due to alleged rigging," he said.

Shah said that political leaders should refrain from criticising and damaging the reputation of the country's institutions. He expressed the hope that protesters at the two sit-ins in Islamabad would return to their homes safely. Shah suggested to the Nawaz-led government that it should deal with the 'Go Nawaz Go' slogan in public gatherings.

About mid-term election in the country, Shah said that though he does not favour it, however, the political situation is apparently pushing the country to this arrangement. He said that dialogue is the only solution to the current political impasse and deplored that the government had wasted time to tackle the situation effectively.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said on Monday that the government was serving the masses relentlessly "despite disturbance caused by sit-ins". Talking to reporters before heading to Heathrow airport for return to the country, the prime minister said he did not want to talk about those people "who were engaged in negative politics", a private channel reported. Nawaz, who made a two-night stopover in London on his way back home after attending the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, said parliament of the country played a significant role in strengthening democracy.

He said his government too wanted to remove anomalies in the system, where they exist. To a question, PM Nawaz said he did not think that the judiciary was conspiring against the government. He said parliament has played an important role in the current political crisis and the government will continue to function without any detraction. He vowed to bring reforms in the system in his five-year term. He said the entire parliament and nation stands on one side while a handful of elements stand isolated on the other.

Nawaz said the political leadership has demonstrated maturity in the prevailing situation. The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the plea for the formation of a larger bench over the case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's disqualification and adjourned the hearing of the case till October 2.

End.

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