Elections best bet to save deteriorating economy, Umar tells govt

Published April 21, 2022
PTI General Secretary Asad Umar talks to reporters on Thursday. —DawnNewsTV
PTI General Secretary Asad Umar talks to reporters on Thursday. —DawnNewsTV

PTI General-Secretary Asad Umar on Thursday advised the newly elected coalition government to immediately call elections as it was the best way to save the country's "rapidly deteriorating" economy.

"This is not just what Imran Khan wants but it's also the mandate of the entire population of Pakistan," he told journalists.

"I'm telling you ... If the government wants to take a smart and politically sound decision, it has to call elections.

"Because the way the economy is weakening, there's a 'do more' pressure on them," Umar said, lamenting that by taking any other decision in these "critical circumstances", the government would head towards its doom.

The former minister also said that the "imported government" seemed to be unhappy with the pace of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

"During the PTI government, more than 1,000 megawatt warehouses were built. We brought information technology, science, industrial zones, and roads to CPEC."

Umar was referring to Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal's statement in which he criticised the PTI for what he said was its sluggish pace on CPEC-related projects. "How pathetic the delay on CPEC projects which is the potential game changer for the regions," Iqbal had said.

Responding to Iqbal, Umar said, "Go back in history. CPEC saw the most extensive development when we [PTI] were in power."

"But I want to ask them a question," he continued. "You tell me. How will CPEC or the economy work under this uncertainty. I know for sure that this government won't be able to stay longer than few months.

"Just days after Imran Khan left, India was back at its demands of 'do more', and now the IMF is doing the same," the PTI general-secretary pointed out, predicting that the dollar would further soar and the rupee would devalue because of the same reason.

He, subsequently, added that if the government wanted to save the economy, it had to step in the field and face Imran Khan. "Let the public choose who they want to stand with."

Talking about PTI's Lahore rally tonight, Umar claimed that it would "break all records" and advised supporters to leave for the venue early because of possible traffic jams.

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