Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Imran Khan decides to announce dissolution of Punjab & KP assemblies within next few days
Says PTI does not want anarchy in the state
Fawad Chaudhry says ECP & CEC wanted to disqualify Imran Khan
LAHORE ( Web News )
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi said Wednesday party’s chairman Imran Khan decided to announce the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies within the next few days.
“Today, the party and the party’s leadership has given the authority to Imran Khan [for the assembly’s dissolution]. Imran Khan now intends to dissolve the assemblies soon so that the process can be taken forward,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said while addressing a press conference along with the party’s top brass.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said as a result of Imran Khan’s back-to-back consultative meetings with the party’s lawmakers and local leadership, he is “convinced” that the way forward is the dissolution of both assemblies and snap polls.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said: “We believe that even if the PDM’s (Pakistan Democratic Movement) federal government is keeping its own interests above the state’s and not thinking about holding general elections, then new governments should be formed in both provinces before Ramadan.”
The former foreign minister said PTI does not want anarchy in the state and wishes to “end the differences” that have taken place in the last eight months, hinting at the party’s worsening relations with the establishment.
Qureshi said that the PTI leadership, including Khan, believe that the incumbent government has lost the trust of the business community as well as the agriculturists.
“The growth figures are dropping — whether it be industrial production, private sector investment, or any other indicator — shows that the economy is deteriorating.”
Cash-strapped Pakistan is currently waiting for funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as cataclysmic floods, depleting foreign exchange reserves and depreciating currency adversely affected the economic situation in Pakistan.
In the meeting on Wednesday, the party also appreciated the Supreme Court’s decision to take suo motu notice of senior journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder, PTI’s vice chairman said.
Qureshi said a fact-finding report has also been presented before the five-member SC bench. “We believe that justice should be done in this case and the human rights violations that have been taking place were unprecedented.” “The point of view of Arshad Sharif’s mother is also in front of you. We believe that justice should be served,” he stated.
Citing the custodial torture of party leaders Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill, Qureshi said that Pakistan had recently seen violations of basic human rights.
“These are very serious matters on which our nation, civil society, judiciary, and all other stakeholders should think. If this continues, it will only harm the country.”
The PTI leader went on to say that his party supported democracy and always functioned constitutionally. “We don’t want to harm any institution. If, in the past, there were some differences or misunderstandings […] we now want to build confidence to reduce these differences,” he added.
The PTI leader said that the differences between Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and former finance minister Miftah Ismail were seen by everyone, adding that their opinions about the economy are well-known.
Qureshi said that the path towards negotiations between PTI and the government could not be paved. “Dr Arif Alvi tried to mediate [for negotiation] between the government and PTI. Only after a dialogue, Imran announced the dissolution of assemblies,” he added.
Talking about the mistrust between PTI and institutions, he said the party wanted to move forward in a democratic manner. “If there is a rift between PTI and institutions, we should take confidence-building measures so it can be eliminated,” he added.
For his part, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja wanted to disqualify Imran Khan.
“But the people will not accept the decisions taken behind closed doors. [The government] should accept the people’s decision and move forward. There can be no stability without new elections.”
Taking over the presser, PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar said inflation has sky-rocketed in the last eight months — since the party’s ouster in April. He said that all financial experts believe that the “economy’s devastated” and the government has no plan on how to revive it.
The PTI leader added that when the Khan-led government was ousted, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $16 billion — which now stand below $8 billion.
“There are fears that the foreign exchange reserves might fall to $5 billion by December’s end,” he warned, as current reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) can only cover imports for 1.11 months.