Only new elections can restore political stability: Fawad

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Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Wednesday that fresh elections were the only way forward to ensure political stability in the country.

Speaking to the media, he said the national economy had been affected and would be hit even harder if the political instability continued. He noted that the rupee was depreciating daily against the dollar and economic gains were fragile. Political uncertainty, he said, would lead to huge economic losses for the country. The constitution must be interpreted in its entirety and violation of Section 63-A cannot be ignored, he said.

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Fawad said the Pakistan Democratic Movement and other opposition political parties had demanded new elections and that as the National Assembly was dissolved, they should focus on the elections.

He lashed out at a reporter after he was asked to comment on corruption allegations against Farah Khan, a close friend of former first lady Bushra Bibi. During a press conference with PTI members Asad Umar, Shahbaz Gill and Ali Muhammad Khan, the former information minister was asked to comment on reports alleging that Farah Khan was involved in corrupt activities and had recently left the country with her husband.

Offended by the question, Fawad claimed that the reporter was a “bogus hire” and that he knew where the reporter got his “bribe” from. He also started hurling insults at the reporter. All the reporters at the press conference were furious at Fawad’s reaction and demanded an apology, only for him to wonder why he should apologize and to whom. Shortly after, Fawad began his statement but was interrupted by chants from reporters who refused to listen to him.

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Seeing the seriousness of the situation, the other PTI leaders tried to convince the journalists to listen to Asad Umar instead, as they were boycotting Fawad Chaudhry and not the other PTI members. Simultaneously, however, Fawad wondered why his colleague should speak for him and maintained that he had not lied. He demanded that he speak and everyone listen. The journalists, in protest, dropped their microphones on the dais and said they would not allow Fawad to speak unless he apologized to the journalist he mistreated.

The PTI leaders quickly ended the press conference and left. Earlier this week, Farah Khan left for Dubai after the National Assembly was dissolved following the no-confidence ruling against Prime Minister Imran Khan. Besides Farah, other PTI leaders have also started going abroad. According to sources at PTI, Farah left for Dubai on Sunday and her husband also resides in the Emirati state.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, as well as the vice-chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, have mentioned Farah Khan several times recently and accused her to be involved in corruption. PTI leader and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday denied allegations made against him a day ago by PML-N Vice-Chair Maryam Nawaz, who said the Foreign Ministry was embroiled in a controversy over forged letters.

Maryam was referring to the ‘threatening’ letter that Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed was sent to him by a foreign diplomat. The Prime Minister, while waving the letter during a jalsa in Islamabad, claimed that the United States was trying to oust him from power and had conspired with the opposition. The no-confidence motion against him was part of the same controversy, the prime minister had argued.

Addressing a press conference alongside former planning and development minister Asad Umar, Qureshi said he categorically denies allegations that the letter was fabricated in the foreign ministry. “It’s the opposition’s version, but I refute it,” he told reporters. “This letter is very real, therefore, do not create ambiguity around this issue.”

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