PM urges opposition parties to prepare for next elections

Imran Khan telethon

Pledges to pick ‘squeaky clean’ leaders; Optimistic about winning polls in Sindh; Says, ‘I am not anti-American’

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the joint opposition’s strategy of looking towards the Supreme Court instead of preparing for elections following the dissolution of the National Assembly was a sign that it “fears the reaction of the public”.

He made this statement during a live programme named “Aap Ka Wazir-e-Azam, Aap Kay Saath” from Islamabad where he answered the questions from the general public.

PM Imran’s remarks came a day after Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took notice of the current situation in the country following the dismissal of a no-confidence motion against him by National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and the subsequent dissolution of the NA by President Arif Alvi.

In his interaction with the public through telephone calls on Monday, PM Imran said he would take part in a protest in Islamabad today (Monday) to be staged outside the capital’s red zone. “The peaceful protest will be staged after Isha prayers against treason by [opposition] politicians.”

He defended the decision of the NA’s deputy speaker, saying he dissolved the assembly over a “foreign conspiracy”.

“I want this trend to end where anyone with Rs20 billion could topple the government. This is unacceptable and tantamount to discrediting democracy,” he said.

He said there were reports of some lawmakers in Punjab staying at a hotel in Lahore where “bribes are allegedly being offered to them to switch sides during voting for the new chief minister”. He appealed to people to stage protests outside the hotel. He maintained that the PML-N and PPP still wanted to get an NRO — the term uses to imply exemption from corruption charges. Imran insisted that the politics of his major political rivals had ended.

The premier said he would now personally interview all candidates for the elections and “only those with a vision for Pakistan will be picked as potential candidates on PTI ticket.”

When asked how he would prevent his mandate from being subjected to rigging, the PM responded: “We have experience now. We understand the mechanism and we will prepare accordingly.


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