Imran reiterates demand for ‘free and fair’ polls

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Says dissolving assemblies his constitutional right

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday bemoaned the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s attempts to not let him exercise his “constitutional right” of dissolving provincial assemblies as he reiterated his demand for “free and fair elections”, which he said was the only way to drag the country out of the crisis.

Imran made the remarks as he addressed his party’s parliamentarians, supporters and workers who had gathered outside the Punjab Governor House in Lahore to “block” Balighur Rehman from taking any “unconstitutional” decision of de-notifying Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

“Today I want to talk to the nation about the situation in Punjab,” he said. “There is a strange environment. Initially, the PML-N was challenging us to dissolve assemblies, saying that they were ready for elections. But when we did that, a vote of confidence and no-trust motions were moved in the Punjab Assembly.”

The PTI chief explained that he wanted to dissolve his provincial assembles “because we fear that if snap polls are not held, the country will slip out of our hands”.

Imran claimed that the reason behind “this joke in Punjab” was one: “They are running away from elections. The convict sitting abroad and Zardari are scared.

“They have a one-point agenda to hide their theft and they will hurt the country in the process. They won’t think about Pakistan once. All they want is an NRO 2,” he alleged.

The PTI chief said that “one man’s animosity” with his party eight months ago was why the country had plunged into a crisis.

He recalled that since his ouster, the PTI and its members have been oppressed only because of “one man”. “What was our fault? Only that we refused to accept the thieves you imposed on us?”

Initially, Imran pointed out, it was only the PTI. “But then the country decided to join us. This man saw that the nation was with us […].

“Never did the nation come out in huge numbers, that too again and again. It was giving one message that the imported government was unacceptable,” he said.

However, the ex-premier contended that “one man” was still apt at “destroying” his party and went to all extents. “When they saw that nothing was working out, they decided to kill me and remove me from the way.”

He then asked: “This one man, what more will you do to force us to accept the imported government?

“Videos and audios are being leaked on social media […] tell me, how low will we fall,” Imran asked, claiming that all of these things were being done to blackmail his party.