Former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday warned Pakistan’s incumbent government and military establishment that his party would take to the streets to establish the rule of law if the Supreme Court’s order on holding polls in the province of Punjab on May 14 was violated.
Khan’s remarks came as he led a large party rally in Lahore.
A large number of Pakistani Tehreek-i-Insaf: workers gathered at the Liberty Chowk where Khan arrived in a bulletproof and bombproof vehicle.
“We will not be trapped by the PMLN-led government’s ill-intentioned plan to delay the elections. We will take to the streets if the Supreme Court’s order to hold polls in Punjab on May 14 is violated,” Khan said.
He has asked the government to dissolve the National Assembly by May 14 if he wants nationwide elections on the same day.
“If the government does not agree to dissolve the National Assembly by May 14, there will be no further talks with it and elections in Punjab will be held on May 14 as per the order of SC,” did he declare.
The final round of talks between the government and the PTI will take place on Tuesday.
“I warn the thieves (Sharifs and Zardaris) and their masters (military establishment) that if they go against the Constitution and do not accept the SC, the nation will come out with me and on the roads to support the supreme court and establish the rule of law,” Khan said and called on his supporters to prepare for the battle of true freedom.
He alleged that the government was fleeing the elections because it feared the defeat of the PTI and wanted to remove it from the political arena.
The cricketer-turned-politician said the Supreme Court had already set May 14 as the date for elections in Punjab, adding that the only case the elections would not be held was if the government accepted his party’s position on issues. joint elections.
Setting out the PTI’s condition for one-day polls, Khan said the remaining assemblies should be dissolved by May 14, adding that the party would only engage in negotiations with the government on the advice of the judge. chief.
“But if they come up with excuses to (hold) an election after (passing the) budget… if they think we’re going to get trapped in their ill-intentioned plan and wait for the election until September… so don’t get me wrong,” he said, adding that the PTI would take legal action in such a case.
In a series of tweets, Khan said: “I want to thank our workers and the people of Lahore for coming out in such large numbers to join our rally in support of our working class and vulnerable segments of our society.
“But, above all, for showing support for the rule of law, our Constitution and the Supreme Court. Those who violate the Constitution and commit disregard for the verdict of the SC must know that the people of Pakistan will take to the streets to defend our Constitution and our SC,” he added.
Talks between the government and Khan’s PTI began last week on the advice of the Supreme Court.
However, the chances of the dialogue yielding positive results are starting to look “very slim” after Khan called for the dissolution of the National Assembly by May 14 to pave the way for a successful outcome of the talks.
The government called Khan’s ultimatum “unachievable” and asked him to be more flexible for the success of this dialogue between the two parties.
The main opposition party, the PTI, is determined to push for elections in the provincial legislatures, but the government maintains its position on simultaneous elections throughout the country.
The National Assembly will end its five-year term in August this year.
According to the Constitution, elections must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the lower house. This means that the election must take place in mid-October. The last general elections were held in July 2018.
PTI leader Khan was ousted in April after losing a vote of no confidence in his leadership, which he said was part of a US-led plot targeting him because of its independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.
Khan, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani prime minister to have been ousted in a vote of no confidence in parliament.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)