Imran Khan offers to hold negotiations with govt over election date

PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks during a video address to the PTI’s Punjab parliamentary party from his Lahore residence in Zaman Park on December 2, 2022. — YouTube screengrab via GeoNews

PTI Chairman Imran Khan Friday invited the coalition government to hold negotiations with his party on the date of the election, warning them of dissolving the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies otherwise.

Citing the devastating economic situation as the reason behind PTI’s constant demand for fresh elections, Khan, in his address to the parliamentary party from his Lahore residence in Zaman Park, warned that the country is fast moving toward default.

“If we don’t head towards elections there won’t be stability in the country,” he warned, adding that the coalition government isn’t ready to talk about snap polls because they are scared of the results.

Khan — who called off his long march to Islamabad last week — had announced quitting assemblies across the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The party’s leadership, according to PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, has approved the dissolution of assemblies in both provinces, but the final decision will be made after further consultations.

The former prime minister said that amid the ongoing political situation the PTI wasn’t bearing any losses, it was the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government who was being accused of all the devastations.

Citing the credit default risk — which now stands at 100% and was around 5% during PTI’s tenure — Khan highlighted that investors and businessmen have lost faith in the coalition government as they have failed to present an economic road map.

He lamented that overseas Pakistanis are reluctant to invest in Pakistan meanwhile the banks are refraining from giving loans to the local business community.

Recalling that 6% growth was recorded in the fiscal year 2021-22 — during which PTI was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion — Khan said that the economy was booming during PTI’s tenure but it has been facing challenges since the coalition government came into power in April.

The cricketer-turned-politician linked an increase in street crimes to sky-high inflation, adding that the number of remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis are also declining.

More to follow…

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