After Imran rescinds offer for talks, PTI says lawmakers ‘preparing for elections’

Published December 4, 2022
PTI chief Imran Khan addresses a gathering at a college in Lahore in September 2022. — DawnNewsTV
PTI chief Imran Khan addresses a gathering at a college in Lahore in September 2022. — DawnNewsTV
Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Islamabad in September 2022. — DawnNewsTV
Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference in Islamabad in September 2022. — DawnNewsTV

A day after PTI chairman Imran Khan walked back his offer for talks with the government for snap polls, party leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the ex-premier “has directed [provincial] assembly members to return to their constituencies and prepare for the elections”.

In a tweet on Sunday, Chaudhry added that “if PDM continues to run away from the elections, […] we will go for the provincial elections of Punjab and (Khyber) Pakhtunkhwa and the elections for the National Assembly would be held later”.

In a tweet today, KP government spokesperson Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif assured the PTI leadership that the “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would be dissolved on the order of Imran Khan”.

Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, in a tweet, once again reiterated his support for Imran. “We are waiting for Imran’s signal to dissolve the Punjab Assembly. We remain loyal to whom we support.”

Elahi also professed his loyalty towards Imran, saying: “We are standing by Imran Khan and will continue to stand by him.”

Today, PTI ally Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid said: “Either Imran will get a date for the elections by Dec 30 or will break up the assemblies; the ball is in the government’s court on whether they make or break politics.”

He lambasted the government for not being in a state to “go out into the people” and said that former finance minister Miftah Ismail had “conducted a post-mortem of their economy”.

Imran had on Friday stated — while speaking to legislators from the KP Assembly via video link from his Zaman Park residence — that he was “all set to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies this month and take 66 per cent of Pakistan to the polls”.

The former premier had made an offer to the government to “sit and talk” and announce a date for the general elections, failing which he would dissolve the provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP, which his party govern.

The following day, PML-N leaders Rana Sanaullah and Khawaja Saad Rafique had responded that Imran “be serious” about talks, which “never take place with conditions”.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had also tweeted in response, “October 2023” with a screenshot of a news ticker with his demand on screen.

Following the undesired response from the government, the PTI chief said in an interview with Bol News late last night that he could delay the dissolution of the assemblies concerned if political players decide to call general elections maximum by the end of next March.

However, he also appeared to withdraw his “proposal” for talks by reiterating his longstanding stance that he would not talk to the “thieves and dacoits”, hinting that his message was for the powers that be.

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