Home Latest News Ruling Coalition Once again Refuses Elections on Imran Khan’s Call

Ruling Coalition Once again Refuses Elections on Imran Khan’s Call

In joint statement, incumbent government says it is solely its prerogative on when to hold elections

by Staff Report

P.M. Shehbaz Sharif. Photo courtesy PID

Pakistan’s ruling coalition, in response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s repeated calls for early elections, on Monday reiterated that deciding when polls take place is solely the prerogative of the government and it will not bow to any pressure.

In a joint statement issued after a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, it stressed that the government would “not allow any mob to impose a decision on the basis of force,” warning that anyone who takes “the law into their hands will be dealt with according to the Constitution and the law.”

Referring to Khan’s repeated attempts to politicize the appointment of the next Army chief—who he says should not be appointed by either PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari or the PMLN’s Nawaz Sharif—the statement maintained that the prime minister would decide on Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s successor as per law. “A man out of power is targeting state institutions under a pre-planned agenda,” it said, referring to Khan, adding he would not be allowed to use “intimidation and dictation tactics” to have his own way.

“The derogatory campaign against Pakistan Army martyrs, statements regarding mutiny in the Army and actions which encourage such acts are tantamount to an enmity with the country and therefore, such acts will be dealt with accordingly,” it said, describing it as a “conspiracy” against the government.

Clarifying that the incumbent government’s current focus was on reviving the national economy and the rehabilitation of the flood victims, the statement stressed there would be no compromise on this. “The government, institutions, and the people of Pakistan agree that political instability will not be allowed to derail the economy, while access to resources for flood victims will not be affected in any way,” it added.

Strongly condemning Khan’s statements against Zardari and Nawaz, the statement added that after the by-elections of Oct. 16, the number of seats of the coalition government in the National Assembly had increased from 174 to 176, with the PTI losing seats “due to Khan’s arrogance.”

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