• No talks with Imran Khan are underway, says Rana Sanaullah. 
  • The government won’t announce pre-elections under duress, says Rana. 
  • The time for making tough decisoins is over, he says.

Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has refuted PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s statement regarding the negotiations. He also attributed the PML-N’s humiliating defeat in the October 17 elections to the overbilling of electricity bills.

 The PDM’s coalition government is not engaged with Imran Khan for any negotiations as he has always nixed the talks while he was in the government, said the minister, speaking in the Geo news programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath‘ on Monday.

The PML-N leader said that Imran Khan is mistaken if he believes that the PML-N-led government will announce the pre-elections due to the fear of his imminent foray into the federal capital.

“We have preferred protecting the state rather than our politics,” he said. “The time for taking tough decisions is over as the government has steered the country clear of the state of the declining economy.”

The federal minister made fun of Imran Khan, saying that he is once again threatening to bring large crowds to Islamabad and that it is inappropriate for him to make such claims given the PTI’s mobilization of their street support on May 25.

Overbilling in the power utility bills has benefited the PTI as they grabbed an extra ten to 15 thousand votes in the elections that took place on Sunday, Rana Sanaullah said. The overbilling of electricity bills not only caused people to suffer a lot but also dealt a blow to the PML-N politically, he explained. The minister, however, said the PML-N leadership has been busy with flood relief in the meantime.

To justify the results of the elections in Faisalabad, the minister again stated that power loom factories are shut down because they could not pay their bills.

Replying to a query regarding the by-elections, he said that the elections were peaceful and transparent. He added that if there had been a caretaker government in Punjab, the PTI would not have been visible in these constituencies. 

Not delaying long march post October: Imran Khan 

Riding on the wave of a massive win in the October 17 elections, Imran Khan vowed not to delay the Haqiqi Azadi (True Freedom) march later than October as the preparations for the protest are complete. 

“My march will be held in October if the government does not announce the date for the next general elections,” he said, addressing a press conference. 

“I am actually giving them some more time before embarking on our long march protest.”

“[Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah won’t even know what hit him, such is my preparation,” Khan warned the top minister, who recently claimed the government’s preparation was 10 times more as compared to May 25.

He said dialogue was out of the question with the ruling elite. “There’s no negotiation with criminals. You can hold reconciliation talks with Baloch or Sindhi nationalists, but not with felons like them,” Khan added.

–Thumbnail: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference at the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad, on April 22, 2022. — YouTube/PTV


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