LAHORE, July 30: Muttahida Qaumi Movement suffered another shock on Monday when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf too declined to attend the ‘roundtable conference’ the MQM wants to host, accusing the party of showing non-seriousness with regard to resolution of national issues.
A day earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-N too had expressed its reservations with regard to the MQM proposal.
The PTI also ruled out any ‘extra-constitutional’ term for the interim government to be set up for overseeing the next general election.
“If the MQM is serious (in resolving national problems) why it is not quitting the (PPP-led) government as (by remaining in power) it is supporting all the wrongs President Asif Zardari is doing to the country,” PTI Chairman Imran Khan told a questioner at a press conference here on Monday. He was asked whether the PTI would attend the proposed conference.
PPP MNA from Bahawalnagar Afzal Sandhu on the occasion announced joining the PTI.
Asked if Mr Sandhu would have to vacate his assembly seat like other MPs (except Awais Leghari) did before embracing the PTI, Khan said the resignation would “not make any difference”.
He said en bloc resignations by PML-N’s (94) MNAs could change the political scene of the country and force the government to hold fresh elections.
Khan claimed his party would get a boost immediately after caretaker government came into being. “Today’s big parties will become dwarfs then,” he said, adding that so far people were reeling under these parties for fear of victimisation.
Alleging that other mainstream parties were being run dictatorially, he said the day election schedule would be announced people would flock around the PTI.
Downplaying the victory of PPP’s Abdul Qadir Gilani in Multan by-polls, he said, “(Cronies of former president) Musharraf had been winning all the by-polls held by the former army ruler. Victory in by-elections is no yardstick for measuring popularity of any political party.”
The PTI chairman told a questioner that the term of the caretaker setup should be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and that his party only wanted the caretakers to be neutral.
Replying to another query, he said parliamentary corruption could be checked by making the MPs declare their assets before assuming office while ‘conflict-of-interest law’ should also be introduced for barring the elected representatives, especially those at the helm of affairs, from doing businesses while in office. The undeclared assets of lawmakers must be forfeited, besides handing down jail terms for submitting false declarations, he suggested.
He announced PTI MPs would declare their own and their families’ assets before taking oath of their respective offices.
Khan claimed that so far seven million people had associated themselves with the PTI in its ongoing membership drive. A press release issued by the party a day earlier had put the members figure at nine million.