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Zardari should quit; announce elections: Imran

16 January, 2013

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LAHORE: Announcing his seven-point agenda on Tuesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan demanded President Asif Ali Zardari's immediate resignation and setting up of "neutral" caretaker government.

Addressing a press conference, the PTI chief presented his seven demands and gave eight days' deadline for their acceptance by the government. He warned that if his demands were not met within eight days, he would have to stand by the people who are raising their voices for rule of law and supremacy of the constitution in its true spirit. "Free and fair elections are not possible as long as Asif Ali Zardari is sitting in the Presidency," said Imran.

He asked the government to announce the date of elections as soon as possible, because it had lost credibility during its five-year performance. He said that the general elections should be held on time. "The government should immediately announce new elections, because change is not possible without holding of free and fair elections," he said. Imran called for a neutral caretaker government, saying "caretaker setup by the mutual understanding of the PPP and the PML-N will not be accepted".

Expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), he demanded that the ECP should be revamped, as it could not stop pre-poll rigging. Citing news reports regarding public funds which were used for election campaigning, Imran lamented that the election commission had not replied to any of his party's complaints. He said that the credibility of the chief election commissioner was beyond doubt, but the PTI had reservations over political appointments in the commission.

The PTI chief demanded immediate action on the Supreme Court's decision in the rental power projects case. Imran said that those who were responsible for the massacre of Hazara community's members in Quetta, must be brought to justice as soon as possible. To a question, Imran warned that there would be bloodshed in the country if the upcoming elections were rigged. "In case of rigging in elections, the PTI would launch the biggest protest in the country's history," he said. Talking about the long march, Imran said that he agreed to Tahirul Qadri's demands, but PTI's strategy was different.

"Qadri wants change through pressure and street power. But we want change through free and fair elections," he maintained. In a message to PTI workers, Imran said that they should be patient and wait for his call following a party meeting over the rapidly changing political situation in the country.

End.

Reader Comments:

PTI a true democratic political party

PTI has acted very maturely in the current political situation; and this is what we expect form a true democratic political party. Congratulations to Pakistani nation, we have a new democratic party that is capable of leading the country.

The party put forward its adequate demands in a timely mannar. Instead of jumping into the current chaotic situation like an opportunist, the party opted for right decisions to save democracy and avoid any kind of anarchy in the country. Now it is up to the government to act wisely and announce election dates and a caretaker setup that should be genuinely neutral with census of all political parties within and outside assembly.

Shakeel N, Pakistan - 16 January, 2013

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