Monday Dec 26 2022

General elections to be held after August 15: Ayaz Sadiq

Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq at the Parliament House in this undated photo. — AFP/File
Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq at the Parliament House in this undated photo. — AFP/File
  • Sadiq says first LG polls will be conducted in April 2023.
  • Advises CM Elahi to remain distant from Imran Khan. 
  • Blames Khan for rising terrorism in Pakistan. 

LAHORE: Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq announced that the general elections will be conducted after August 2023 after the local government (LG) elections in April 2023, The News reported Monday.

The announcement was made by minister at a ceremony held in connection with Quaid-e-Azam’s birthday and Christmas on Sunday. 

Sadiq said the election will be held in 2023. “First we will go to local government elections in April 2023 and then general elections will be held after August 15,” he announced.

Speaking to journalists, Sadiq talked about the dissolution of assemblies and said if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan wanted to dissolve the assemblies, he should have done it forthwith instead of giving dates.

“First he said he will fight his own battle and now he is looking towards the establishment to save him and bring him back to power,” Sadiq said adding Khan took massive loans during his tenure and that loans caused massive inflation in the country.

Quaid's day

“Today is the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and without him, there would have been no Pakistan,” the PML-N leader said, paying rich tributes to the efforts of the Quaid for changing Pakistan from a thought into a reality.

He said the white part of Pakistan’s flag reflected the minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis or any other religion and the state has promised to protect their rights. Sadiq said today was also the birthday of Hazrat Isa (peace be upon him).

“Today is the birthday of Nawaz Sharif who carried forward the tradition of Quaid-e-Azam Muslim League and made Pakistan prosper and stronger by doing nuclear tests,” the minister maintained.

CM Elahi should keep distance from Khan

The minister advised Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to distance himself from Khan and contest the next general elections without him because at that time there would be no support available to him from any side.

He further said that CM Elahi and his son Moonis were already fed up with Khan’s behaviour. “MQM and other parties left Imran because of his self-centric political approach.”

New wave of terrorism

Answering a question about the new wave of terrorism in the country,  Sadiq said that Khan has seen the result of talking to the Taliban as terrorism had started again in the country. “Imran Khan did not stop terrorism but started negotiations with those who martyred our children,” he maintained.

The minister said those who selected Khan and brought him to power in 2018 were responsible for the damage done to the country. The trade deficit reached $45 billion, he said, adding it seemed that Khan came to destroy the country. They also took money from Indians and then targeted the chairman of the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said.

He said Pakistan’s electricity and gas became very expensive due to khan’s policies.

Bajwa's support

Sadiq said that in 2018, former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa supported Khan while Jahangir Tareen gave MPAs and Aleem Khan gave everything but Khan forgot everything and was talking openly against all three persons and even cases were filed against Tareen's wife and daughter.

“I have known Imran Khan’s character since 1960. A person who uses mothers and sisters to take revenge for power is a small person,” he said adding Pakistan ML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz faced cameras in jail.

Making a mockery of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, he said he never took the former interior minister seriously. 

If the PTI claims that their numbers were complete, then why CM Elahi did not take the vote of confidence on the governor’s constitutional order, he questioned. 

Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Khawaja Salman Rafique questioned the Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute and Research Centre (PKLI) did not get funds, and how the poor people would be treated. “Why are you in such a hurry to dissolve the assembly, you are in power, serve the people,” he said.

'PML-N ended terrorism, loadshedding'

Meanwhile, in another ceremony, PML-N leader Rana Mashhood said Pakistan was established under the Two Nation theory. He said Quaid-e-Azam created Pakistan so that Muslims could live a free life and after his death, those who took care of the country were also sidelined and conspiracies were hatched against politicians. 

He said elected representatives of the people should be allowed to make their own decisions and restoration of democracy was the demand of the people of Pakistan.

Mashhood said the PML-N ended terrorism and loadshedding while Khan brought back both. Party supremo Nawaz Sharif strengthened the country’s economy and gave big projects to the country and investments from foreign countries started to come.

“In 2018, Imran Khan was brought to power by stealing the election. During his tenure, horse-trading in the Senate was done openly but at that time it was right. Imran Khan himself said there is no better army chief than General Bajwa and now the same General Bajwa is responsible for everything done bad to the country during Imran Khan’s tenure,” he said.

Mashhood held Khan responsible for economic and other problems in the country because he was imposed on the people. Nawaz was fired for not taking salary from his son whereas Khan’s Banigala house was made legal, he said.