No More Delay: KP, Punjab assemblies to be dissolved on Friday: Imran Khan

— Says never thought he could ever live anywhere else but Pakistan

— Fears ‘corrupt gang’ imposed may take the nation further into destruction

LAHORE: Defying against odds, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Saturday announced that his party chief ministers would dissolve Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) the assemblies on December 23 (Friday).

The PTI chief’s announcement came during his address to a huge rally of party workers and supporters in Liberty Market via video link from his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park.

At the outset of his address, the PTI chief said he wanted to inform the people about why he decided to dissolve the assemblies in both the provinces where his party ruled.

“In this country, until free and fair elections don’t take place […] fears will still remain that the country might sink.”

Imran said he provided all the details to the courts about his assets just like every commoner in Pakistan — unlike the ones who “looted” money of the masses and siphoned it abroad.

“All their money, business, and children are abroad. They are living a luxurious life in Pakistan after looting the nation’s money,” Imran said, claiming that he never thought that he could ever live anywhere else except Pakistan.

The PTI chief said that for the first time in his life, he “fears” that the “corrupt gang” imposed on the country was taking the nation toward destruction. “You can ask any industrialist, labour, and farmer; their finances cannot be managed amid the ongoing economic situation.”

The former prime minister claimed that Pakistan witnessed 50-year high inflation after the incumbent government came into power. “They washed away all the hard work we did.”

The PTI chief mentioned that the economy — including industries, taxes, exports, and agriculture — witnessed a boost during his party’s government, which lasted for nearly four years.

“But this government has not even been able to progress in one sector. Given the situation in the country, over 750,000 people have gone abroad,” Imran said as he lambasted the ruling coalition.

The ex-prime minister lamented that the hundreds of thousands of people who left Pakistan were skilled workers and their deprivation will hurt the country in the long run.

Imran further lamented that his government — which was ousted in April — worked hard to revive the economy that was on the brink of default when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) left the government in 2018.

The PTI chief mentioned that the growth witnessed during his party’s tenure was last seen during three previous governments — former army dictators General Ayub Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq, and General Pervez Musharraf.

“All these growth targets were achieved because we were hand-in-hand with America on several fronts. So, who was behind all this regime change operation? Why were these corrupt elements brought into power?”

Imran said the direct foreign investment, remittances, tax, and exports have all decreased. “Foreign investors do not trust the government. Since we do not have dollars for repaying energy debt, foreign debt […]. They do not have a plan except seeking loans from China.”

He said loans were not enough as it is tantamount to treating cancer with disprin tablet. “The only solution to it is through wealth creation. If you create wealth, you can ensure that you don’t have to beg loans for the next time.”

Blaming the coalition government for mishandling the country’s economy, Khan said: “Had they managed the economy well, we would have been fine with them completing the term, but the country is going down. Everything is going down in the country. I’m afraid [Pakistan] is moving toward default.”

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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