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Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan demands early election under 'neutral' supervision

Claiming that the "selected" government has been imposed on the masses through planning and plotting, he said that an election must be held as soon as possible, otherwise, democracy will suffer a huge blow

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 09:57 AM IST

Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York | AFP
Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York | AFP
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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that general elections must be held in the country under the supervision of a neutral chief election commissioner (CEC), reported local media.

Claiming that the "selected" government has been imposed on the masses through planning and plotting, he said that an election must be held as soon as possible, otherwise, democracy will suffer a huge blow, reported Geo News.

Khan, however, added that the polls should be conducted under the supervision of a suitable chief election commissioner (CEC). Notably, this comes after last week he called CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja PML-N's agent.

Dismissing the allegations of his government being incompetent, he said, "We had been hearing those remarks for three-and-a-half years. My only demand is to conduct the election under the chairmanship of a neutral CEC. Let the people decide [the country's fate]."

Further, reiterating that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) government was toppled through a conspiracy, he said that a commission should be formed under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Pakistan to probe the matter.

"A sitting prime minister has been ousted through a conspiracy, therefore, all state institutions should look into the matter as it has turned out to be a huge setback for the country," the media outlet quoted him as saying.

Speaking on the involvement of the US in ensuring his ouster through the no-confidence motion, he said that he is not anti-America or any other country.

"The United States often instigates regime change for its own benefits, not for the benefit of the countries involved," he said, claiming that he knows every character involved in the conspiracy.

"I have proof against people who had been frequently visiting the US embassy in Pakistan. Hussain Haqqani had a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in London where they hatched this conspiracy," he added.

Notably, PTI has staged several protests across the country against the United States for an alleged "foreign conspiracy" to oust Imran Khan from power who has been unseated after the no-confidence vote initiated by the Opposition was carried in the National Assembly.

Former in­­terior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said he is making efforts to clear “misunderstandings” between the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the establishment, claiming that ex-premier Imran Khan is ready to sit with incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the issue of holding early elections if (early polls are) guaranteed by “powerful quarters”.

Mr Rashid, who as the head of the Awami National League-Pakistan remained part of the PTI-led coalition government, said that the PTI would stage a long march to the federal capital by the end of this month and the marchers would stay in Islamabad till the announcement of election date.

He was of the opinion that the PTI should not have confronted any state institutions rather the party should sit with the Election Commi­ssion of Pakistan (ECP) so that it could convince the commission on early polls.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah reacted on Tuesday to his predecessor Sheikh Rashid's statement about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan being ready to sit with Prime Minister Shehbaz on the issue of early elections, questioning why he was "begging the government and institutions now" as he declared that "we will decide what is the best time for the elections."

In a series of tweets, Sanaullah said Imran had the authority to dissolve assemblies and hold new elections while he was the prime minister. He added that now the elections would not be held before "the accountability [is conducted] of looting the national treasury and making the country economically barren".

Rashid, one of Imran's long-time allies who remained a part of the recently ousted PTI government, had said during an interview to Voice of America on Monday that Imran was ready to hold talks with the Sharif government for early general elections, but it required the guarantee of “powerful quarters”.

Separately, Imran Khan on Saturday announced a rough timeframe for his planned long march to Islamabad, issuing a call for the last week of May without mentioning the exact date.

He said the decision was taken in a meeting of the PTI's core committee.

He explained that the call was being given because the country was "insulted" and "the most corrupt people were placed atop the country via a foreign conspiracy."

Imran lashed out at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet, saying that the former was being referred to as "crime minister" and he had corruption cases against him while 60 per cent of the cabinet's members were also out on bail.

"I want to give a message to all of Pakistan to start preparing from now. The start of our preparation will be chaand raat (eve of Eid) and I want to say specifically to the youth that you have to come out with flags and tell the whole world that the Pakistani nation is alive."

(with inputs from ANI)

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Published on: Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 09:57 AM IST