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Imran Khan demands general elections under new election commission

Driving wedge between PTI and Army is part of regime change conspiracy, claims Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has demanded general elections in the country under a new election commission.

Addressing party workers and supporters in a live telecast on Wednesday night, he claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in connivance with PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz, tried to defeat us [PTI] in the Punjab by-polls.

“We need a credible election commission that no political party has an issue with,” Imran maintained, insisting that if general elections were not called, then the economy will suffer more.

The PTI chairman thanked all the supporters for standing beside him to defeat the “imported government” of corrupt people.

He recalled how the last time he witnessed a united country was during the 1965 war. “After that, I saw unity among people when the corrupt government was bestowed on us.”

The PTI chief highlighted the exclusive measures taken by his government that benefitted the people.

“Pakistan was among those countries that saved the economy and lives of people during coronavirus,” he said. “Many international organizations commended our work.”

Imran emphasized that the first thing he will do if he comes back into power will be to facilitate overseas Pakistanis.

“They broke the record of remittances and were offered housing projects by the PTI government,” he said, adding that “We will bring their hard-earned dollars to the country so that the pressure is relieved of the rupee.”

The ex-PM said, “We will not go to the International Monetary Fund when rich overseas Pakistanis help us.”

He questioned why India and Bangladesh’s economy is far ahead of Pakistan. He said that the biggest problem of this country is the “rule of law”.

The former prime minister recalled that when the PTI announced its “Azadi March” on May 25, “they [coalition government] made all efforts to create hurdles for the families that came out to support the “Haqeeqi Azadi.”

“Today, I want to the Almighty that despite all the impediments, people came out to show support rather than staying at home out of fear,” he said, adding that he was glad that the people of Pakistan started becoming a nation now.

Khan further added that all efforts were made to defeat the PTI in the by-elections. “First of all, Hamza was illegally imposed on us” and even when he was ordered by the top court to refrain from using any state machinery and administration for personal gains, he used all of the aforementioned to rig the elections.

Accusing the ECP of supporting Hamza, he said: “The election commission also tried to defeat us by helping PML-N during the by-polls.”

Terming his party’s win a “miracle”, he said that despite all efforts, PTI managed to win because of the people who came out to cast their votes. “A new history is being written,” he said.

The PTI chairman said that all economic indicators of Pakistan showed that the economy was growing significantly during PTI’s tenure, saying that the Economic Survey 2021-22 showed that such growth was witnessed after 17 years.

Highlighting the relief packages announced by his government — including the health card initiative — Khan said the efforts of the party were leading the county towards a welfare state.

Berating the coalition government, he maintained that during the three and half years of the PTI-led government, the US dollar cumulatively strengthened by Rs50; however, it gained approximately Rs53 in the first three months of the coalition government.

“The question, however, remains the same: When the country was running well, then why was the conspiracy allowed despite knowing the long-term effects?” he questioned the authorities — which according to him — could have stopped the conspiracy.

He said that political rivals used all tactics to defeat the PTI but remained failed. “They tried to defeat us in the by-polls with the collaboration of the election commission,” he alleged. Khan added that the corrupt rulers faced defeat due to the resistance of the nation.

He said that PTI had started a successful poverty alleviation program, Ehsaas and health card, in Pakistan. “PTI has established its government in Punjab now. We will restore the Ehsaas program and health card scheme in the province.”

“We are also going to start a ration program in Punjab. Through the ration program, the government will provide essential commodities including cooking oil, ghee, sugar, and other products at low cost.”

He said that fresh elections are the only solution to the political crisis in Pakistan. He also demanded to establish a trustworthy election commission. The PTI chairman reiterated that the current chief election commissioner (CEC) was not trustworthy.

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