Elections can be held in July, says Imran Khan


LAHORE – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has proposed that elections can take place in July if Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif dissolves the National Assembly in May.

The former premier said this while in an interview with ARY News on Sunday, the PTI chief added that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has not yet approached us for negotiations.

He said the PDM is using negotiation as a tool for the preteens of dialogues to delay elections and added that the government was making the Supreme Court’s decision of holding elections in Punjab next month “controversial” in order to run away from polls.

The 70- year old politician furthered that it was part of the ‘London plan’ to weaken the PTI by registering cases against them and delaying the elections, adding that the ruling coalition also plans to delay elections past October.

The ex-PM further criticized the caretaker Punjab government for attacking his Lahore’s Zaman Park residence, adding that he cannot forgive the people who are responsible for party worker Zille Shah’s death.

He added that he dissolved the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on the advice of then chief of army staff (COAS) General Bajwa.

The former prime minister further termed Bajwa a “liar”, adding that he had begun lobbying in the United States against his party.

He refused to back down from his demand for the snap polls. It may possible there will be no money even in October. The situation may worsen. “We cannot go beyond May 14,” he expressed.

The former prime minister went on to say that inflation irked the public, and the government is running away from its reaction by postponing the elections.

In a reply to the matter of talks with the ruling alliance, Khan said he had given the mandate of negotiations to Shah Mahmood Qureshi and not to Asad Qaisar, the former speaker of the National Assembly.

“There has been no discussion on negotiations with Shah Mahmood Qureshi so far,” he clarified as there were reports that some major political parties had reached out to the PTI.

Earlier this week, the CJP Bandial said that the apex court could make some room and change the date of elections if all the political parties evolve a consensus to hold talks. The court had earlier also stressed on political parties to sit together to resolve the issues.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, too, expressed his support for the proposal and called on his allies as well as all other political parties to come together and try to end the ongoing crises.

PPP senior leader Qamar Zaman Kaira also confirmed that the ruling alliance made a contact with the PTI. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Siraj Ul Haq has also been actively trying to build a bridge between the PTI and the coalition parties in the government.