Imran Khan warns of ‘Sri Lanka-like’ situation if elections not held in Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has warned the ‘powerful people’ that violent protests will break out in the country if the elections were not held. “Pakistan would face a Sri Lanka-like situation,” he added.

“This is not a warning, it is my analysis; the people till now have remained peaceful at the party rallies and public gatherings with a hope that the elections would be held soon.

However, if they were denied their right to vote then they will come out onto the streets and no one would be able to control the situation,” the former Prime Minister said while addressing an interactive session with party workers through a video link here Saturday.

He said till now the coalition government was running away from the elections, fearing that they would lose and Imran Khan will return to power. “While keeping in mind Pakistan’s precarious economic situation, till now I have taken party decisions that did not hurt our fragile economy, but if the elections were delayed the situation would get out of control,” he added.

On behalf of the nation, he urged all Supreme Court justices to put their differences behind them and unite for the sake of the country. “Pakistan was on the verge of collapse; if the country’s Constitution was breached, for which attempts were being made, there will be a law of jungle in the country. The nation was looking towards the Supreme Court for supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of the law in the country,” he said.

Khan also announced to stage rallies in Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar to mark Labour Day on Monday; “I would lead the rally in Lahore from Liberty Chowk to Nasir Bagh while PTI senior leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pervez Khattak would lead the rallies in Islamabad and Peshawar, respectively”. He said that on Monday they would show solidarity with the labour class and express their support for the supremacy of the Constitution and Pakistan. Thus, he urged people from all sections of society, especially the lawyers, to participate in the rally to express their demands for their rights.

Talking about the negotiation with the government over holding elections simultaneously in the country, the PTI chief cast doubts over the government’s sincerity. “We agreed to hold talks with the government on the Supreme Court’s request and we have to come to the negotiation table with full sincerity.”

However, he saw mala-fide intentions behind the government’s proposal to hold elections simultaneously after this year’s budget. He disclosed that on Tuesday (May 2), his team would attend the negotiations and if the government commits to dissolve the National and Provincial Assemblies by May 14 then they were ready to move forward and talk about ‘one election’ in the country.

However, he warned that they would not accept the government’s demand of dissolving the assemblies after the budget and then hold the elections.

He castigated the incumbent rulers for destroying state institutions with the sole aim of giving themselves NROs. “National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have been abandoned to destroy the accountability system in the country and subsequently, enabled them to close corruption cases against them. Now, police and other state institutions were being used to fabricate cases against their opponents.

The Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was responsible for holding free and fair elections in the country, has become a partner with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM); it was acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryum Nawaz and ‘Dirty Harry’,” he alleged.

He also castigated the government for undermining the people’s fundamental rights and violating the sanctity of their houses. “What happened at PTI President and former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi’s residence could never be imagined in any civilized society and democracy. Earlier, an attack was made on my life and my house. The PTI leaders, including Azam Swati, Shahbaz Gill, Ali Amin, and others, were arrested and tortured. Any of this could not be possible in a civilized society,” he lamented.

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