LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry has said the party is seeking better ties with the armed forces and judiciary, but accused the PDM government of attempting to frustrate their efforts.
At the same time, the ex-minister admitted that to discuss the announcement of general elections in the country, an informal connection was established with the coalition government.
He expressed these views while talking to the media, following his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son, Moonis Elahi, both PML-Q leaders, outside the residence of former premier Imran Khan at Zaman Park on Monday.
The PTI leader explained they were making efforts to normalise their relations with the army and judiciary. However, some elements or the coalition government was trying to exacerbate the differences, he said.
Fawad claims govt never gives extension to army chief of its own accord
“We have serious concerns over this. We believe that despite our attempts to better the ties, someone, or maybe the federal government is trying to worsen the situation,” he added.
He said his party was only demanding free and fair elections in the country and did not want any unconstitutional act.
He said the PTI and PML-Q were strong allies and would remain allies. CM Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi would dissolve the assembly on the direction of PTI chairman Imran Khan and there was no problem in delaying the decision to dissolve the assembly.
Fawad Chaudhry said only holding general elections could bring stability in the country and the PTI would expect elections to be held before March 20, 2023 for establishing new federal and provincial governments.
He said that oil prices were at one of the lowest levels in the history of the global oil market yet the federal government did not provide relief to the people.
Separately, he rejected the impression of any help provided to the PTI in the 2018 general elections as being aired by TV channels, quoting [Moonis Elahi] interview.
He said that the PTI would have bagged more seats in the 2018 general election if the establishment had helped it. “Several PTI candidates lost the seat only by 1,000 votes,” he added.
Referring to dozens of leaders who joined the PTI before the 2018 elections, Fawad Chaudhry claimed that no one would have boarded the plane of Jehangir Tareen if the PTI had not been popular.
He then raised questions on how medical reports of former premier and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif were prepared to facilitate his exit from the country.
In apparent reference to the recent statements of PML-Q leaders regarding the former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, he said the PTI government enjoyed good and bad relations with him.
He said no government gave extension to army chief of its own free will, adding that the role of establishment beyond its constitutional limits was a reason for problems in the country.
The senior PTI leader said that PML-Q was an independent party to decide its future, but the PTI only demanded election in every situation. He said the PTI MNAs and MPAs were questioning what would happen if the country faced bankruptcy.
“PTI won 75 per cent seats during all recent elections and is the popular party of the country,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022