Has Imran Khan agreed to same-day polls?


Islamabad: As the talks between the ruling alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and the former ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have entered their final stage, it seems a big herculean task is ahead for the negotiators.

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the PTI, Imran Khan, has shown readiness on holding polls on the same day in the entire country, but there is a caveat to his agreement. He wants the government to dissolve the National Assembly by May 14.

Imran Khan stated in a speech to party members on Saturday that his party would only be prepared to talk about the election date when the NA had been dissolved before May 14 – the deadline for elections in Punjab.

“I see malice in dissolving the assembly after the budget,” Imran Khan said.

He went on to say, “If you [the coalition rulers] want to pass the budget, first win the election and the people will give you their mandate.”

“The PTI’s negotiating team will meet the government’s team for the third round on Tuesday (May 2) and present its demand to dissolve the National Assembly before May 14, otherwise [PTI] will go ahead with the Punjab general elections as per Supreme Court’s order,” Imran Khan said, adding that the PTI would also approach the apex court for earliest general elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the constitutional time frame of 90 days had already passed.

However, the federal government is adamant that elections are only possible in October.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday said there was no possibility to hold elections before October.

Speaking to the media outside Parliament, Khawaja Asif said that the election will be held in October after the possible return of the Pakistan Muslim League-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif.