Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday castigated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for aiming to seek power even if it means undermining the country's foundations.
The PTI and coalition government are at loggerheads as the former presses on holding early elections. However, the ruling alliance has ruled out snap polls and vowed to not come under Khan's pressure.
"Imran’s recent diatribe against parliamentary democracy is the latest in a series of attacks that fly in the face of how democracy functions in modern nation-states," the premier said in a tweet.
As the PTI chief speaks against state institutions and hurls abuses against the ruling alliance leaders, PM Shehbaz believes that his politics' sole aim was coming back into power through any means necessary.
"His (Khan's) politics is aimed at making his way to power even if it means undermining foundations this country stands on," the prime minister expressed.
The PM's statement comes after the PTI chief shared his willingness to halt the dissolution of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies if the coalition government agrees to conduct elections by the end of March next year — another announcement to pressurise the coalition alliance.
In an interview with a private news channel, Khan said: “If they are ready for elections by the end of March, then we won't dissolve the assemblies. Otherwise, we want to conduct polls by dissolving the KP and Punjab assemblies."
He added that his party won’t agree on a date after March and assemblies will be dissolved this month [December] if the government disagrees.
“How long will they take to decide? They either have to say yes or no. We have already decided,” the former premier said underlining his conditional stance on talks with the government on the election date.
Also, for the first time since spending three and a half years with former chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, PTI chief said: "Giving extension to him [Gen Bajwa] was my biggest mistake."
“I would trust whatever ex-COAS General Bajwa said. I would tell him that both of us are [thinking about] the country; our purpose is one — to save the country,” Khan said.
The former prime minister added that he didn’t know how he was being lied to and betrayed.
Accusing the ex-army chief of betrayal, Khan said that whenever he asked Bajwa about the conspiracy, he replied that they want continuity.
The former prime minister said that he complained to Bajwa that his allies were hinting that the army is forcing them to change their loyalty and you are saying that forces are "neutral".
He revealed that leaders from MQM-P and other parties had also told them about the ex-COAS Gen Bajwa’s role.
“We were astonished that they were telling me something else and we were getting other signals from there [allies],” Khan said.