time Friday Dec 23 2022

No contact with establishment now: Imran Khan

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a party rally in this undated image. — AFP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a party rally in this undated image. — AFP

  • Former PM says establishment is a reality, "only it can play its role for supremacy of law".
  • "Person holding the top office in the armed forces is 'everything'," Khan adds.
  • PTI chief predicts if similar state of economy persists than country will default by February or March.

LAHORE: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday clarified that he is not in contact with the establishment “for now”.

Speaking to senior journalists at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, Khan said: “The establishment is a reality and only it can play its role for the supremacy of law,” he added.

“I used to stay in touch with [former chief of army staff General Qamar Javed] Bajwa, however, he always asked me to think in a particular direction,” he said in line with his claims that the ex-COAS always advised him to focus on economy instead of his opposition parties and their accountability.

Imran Khan, who was removed from power through a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly in April, said that the person holding the top office in the armed forces is “everything”, claiming that Gen Bajwa called then-opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif while he was in jail on account of his money laundering case to inquire about his well-being.

“If [Gen] Bajwa wants to inquire about Shehbaz when he is in custody then what is the fault of other prisoners,” he questioned.

In response to a question regarding the ongoing political crisis in Punjab and the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government’s decision to hold general elections as per schedule, the PTI chief said the coalition government wants to delay general elections.

“Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari are refraining from heading into general elections as they are afraid of me,” he claimed.

Last week, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) expressed its inability to conduct the general elections as per schedule if the final digital data of the seventh census are not provided to the body by March 31 next year. The poll organising authority had earlier said the next polls would be expected to be held in the country in October 2023.

The former prime minister, however, added that keeping in mind the current economic situation it is “impossible” to delay elections further.

“If the similar state of the economy persists then the country will default by February or March,” Khan said berating the incumbent government for "destroying the booming economy” that he claims the PTI regime had left behind.