Opposition parties undecided over PTI’s call for early polls


LAHORE: The opposition parties in the Punjab assembly are undecided over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s call for early elections in the country.

Opposition leader in the Punjab assembly and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s leader, Mehmood ur Rashid has called a joint meeting of the opposition parliamentary parties and will take up the matter in the session of Punjab assembly on December 4.

It has been learnt that Mehmood ur Rashid has been contacting parliamentary leaders of other parties in the Punjab assembly.

The meeting of the opposition parties will mull over ways to give a tough time to the government and decide a future line of action for early elections. According to Mehmood ur Rashid, there is no writ of the government in the country and in the present circumstances, there was no way out but early elections.

Pointing towards former prime minister Nawaz Sharif without naming him, he said, “All the people in the government have become followers of a disqualified person and there is no one to handle the affairs of the state. The government policy vis-à-vis protests and the sit-in of religious parties jeopardized the security of the whole country.”

He said that the government first called in the army and later made its role controversial.  He demanded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to tender resignations as they failed to run the affairs of the government in a proper way.

He also said that his demand for early polls is not unconstitutional as Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have demanded the same in the past.  Mehmood said that his party is fully ready for polls. However, he said the party will make an alliance with other parties after the consultative meeting of the party’s top brass.

On the other hand, PPP parliamentary leader in the Punjab assembly, Qazi Ahmed Saeed said the opposition leader has not contacted him yet.  “If opposition leaders call me, I will attend the meeting on the issue”. However, he said that his party is not in favour of early polls and wants the assembly to complete its constitutional term. “I will take guidelines from the top leadership of the party if Mehmood ur Rashid calls for a meeting of joint opposition parliamentary parties,” he said.

Jamaat-e-Islami parliamentary party leader in the Punjab assembly Wasim Akhtar also denied that Mehmood ur Rashid has called him for a meeting of joint opposition parties. He said: “I am in Bahawalpur and no one has contacted me about the issue.”

He stated that his party also wants the government to complete its constitutional term.  He said he would contact his party leadership to get their stance on the issue if opposition leader calls a meeting of the parliamentary parties.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mehmood ur Rashid has just reiterated his party’s demand for early polls as PTI Chief Imran Khan has been demanding the same for last past few months.

Imran Khan holds the view that given the present circumstances in the country, PM Abbasi has no option to call for early elections as the country’s economy is in a shambles and law and order are worsening with each passing day. He said the sooner polls take place the better it would be for the democracy and the country.