Islamabad: In a joint statement on Monday, the ruling coalition–known as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)–turned down PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s demand for early elections, saying only the coalition parties will decide when to hold elections in the country.
Imran Khan, while holding a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, had warned that PTI’s anti-government “Azadi March” would not be delayed past October as they have completed their preparations.
“My march will be held in October if the government does not announce the date for the next general election,” he said.
Khan warned the government that multitudes of people would take to the streets on his call for the anti-government march. He said that he was still cutting the government some slack so that they could decide on it. “I am actually giving them some more time before embarking on our long march protest.”
Reacting to Khan’s warnings, the ruling alliance issued a joint statement in which they “categorically rejected” the demand of Imran Khan, adding it will be decided by the coalition parties of the government when to hold elections. The government vowed that it will not allow “any group” to “impose” its demand by force.
حکومت کی اتحادی جماعتوں نے مشترکہ طور پر پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے چئیرمین عمران خان کا الیکشن جلد کرانے کا مطالبہ دوٹوک طور پر مسترد کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ ملک میں انتخابات کب ہونے ہیں، اس کا فیصلہ حکومتی اتحادی جماعتیں کریں گی۔ pic.twitter.com/0sB4ueRS0Y
— PML(N) (@pmln_org) October 17, 2022
The statement also condemned the allegations and statements issued against former president Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
Regarding the appointment of the next army chief, the statement said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will appoint the next Chief as per the law.
It further added that the aim of targeting the army chief, leadership of intelligence institutions, officers, chief election commissioner, and others is tantamount to “blackmailing”, which is definitely not a political act but a part of a conspiracy, which will not be allowed to succeed.