Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, stressed on Monday that without political stability, there would be no economic stability in the country, adding that the only way forward was to hold fair and free elections in a credible framework. Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad a day after the PTI routed the PML-N by winning at least 15 seats in the crucial by-elections out of the 20-seat Punjab Assembly, Khan said: “The current Chief Election Commissioner is a one-sided person and we as Pakistan’s largest political party do not trust him.”
The PTI Chairman stressed that the upcoming general elections should not be conducted like the by-elections in Punjab.
“They used every tactic to defeat us in the Punjab partial polls. The police threatened our people. The officers acted as PML-N workers,” he claimed.
“I am disappointed with the Chief Electoral Commissioner. How could he let all this happen? He is not competent to run [the Election Commission of Pakistan].”
Speaking about the current political crisis in the country, he said it was the result of a foreign plot against his government.
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“A political crisis was fabricated to overthrow my government,” the former prime minister said, adding that things would have been different had elections been held right after his government was overthrown.
He stressed that the political crisis will only worsen if new elections are delayed.
Khan said an “imported government has been imposed” on Pakistan due to a conspiracy, but warned people would no longer accept any “backdoor deal”.
“I’m glad we’re becoming a nation. When we become a nation, debt and other issues will go away.”
The PTI chief said the country’s elite keep their money abroad because they don’t believe in Pakistan.
“Have you ever heard of people from the UK and France keeping their assets in other countries?” He asked.
Indirectly targeting the leadership of the coalition government, he said: “These people say they are ready to die for Pakistan but don’t trust the country.”
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Giving the example of the founder of Pakistan, he said Muhammad Ali Jinnah had sacrificed everything for Pakistan.
Calling the results of the Punjab partial polls a result of the revolution that is preparing for a better Pakistan, he said: “As a nation, we should be proud of the way people came to vote, especially the young people, as it reflects what Naya Pakistan is all about.
“I believe the nation has woken up. People have finally understood the ideology of Pakistan,” he remarked.
The former prime minister said he was happy today because the nation had finally started to question slavery. “We have cast off slavery and will now become a nation with the grace of God.”
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The PTI President went on to say that the last government of PML-N did nothing to increase the country’s exports. “They left huge budget deficits in their two terms. They came to power to quash the charges against them. They pushed bills through the assembly,” he noted.
Explaining Pakistan’s financial difficulties, he said today that Pakistan is a country that could default. “Like Sri Lanka, we are going to default. Moody’s has made our credit rating negative.
“I will challenge all of this in the Supreme Court tomorrow,” the former prime minister announced.
Recalling his government’s interventions to improve the economy, he said the growth rate had increased significantly after a long period, adding that all economic indicators were moving in the right direction.
He said Pakistan’s reserves were dwindling even after the country was close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
“It’s dangerous,” he said before concluding his speech.