- Imran Khan announces Punjab assembly to be dissolved in December.
- He met with lawmakers of Bhakkar, Mianwali, Pakpattan and Sahiwal.
- PTI members endorsed Imran Khan’s decision to dissolve assembly.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan announced that the Punjab assembly will be dissolved this month.
The PTI earlier gave a December 20 deadline to the coalition government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to announce the election date; otherwise, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies will be dissolved as announced by Imran Khan last month. The ruling coalition, which initially announced to forestall the PTI’s move, has now changed its stance and dared its rival to dissolve the assemblies.
The PTI chief chaired a consultative session with lawmakers from Bhakkar, Mianwali, Pakpattan and Sahiwal. Sources said the members endorsed the decision to dissolve the provincial assembly.
Sources said Imran Khan told the lawmakers that the assembly will be dissolved this very month and the date of the dissolution will be made public prior to December 20.
“The PML-Q is a vital ally. We have intimated them of our decision,” Imran Khan said. He noted that the PML-Q is on the same page with the PTI on the issue of the assembly’s dissolution.
“Our politics is not above the country. This government has destroyed the national economy,” he maintained.
Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan also said that all the members of the provincial assembly have endorsed Imran Khan’s decision.
Difference of opinion exists
In a statement issued a day earlier, PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar admitted that there is a difference of opinion among party members regarding the dissolution of assemblies. He said that some party members are in favour of the immediate dissolution of assemblies while others are against the decision. However, he said that some of the party members believed that there should be an extension of two to three months.
Another PTI leader, Fawad Chaudhry, also said that differences of opinion exist regarding the dissolution of the assemblies.
A day earlier, PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry warned the ruling coalition that the party will order the dissolution of assemblies if a final date for the next general elections is not announced by next week.
“Leaders of the imported government don’t want polls and they have no idea how to run the country,” the former federal minister claimed on Twitter.
“If PDM doesn’t bring a formula for holding general elections by December 20, the Punjab and KP assemblies will be dissolved,” Fawad said.
He said that the process of holding general elections in the two provinces will be completed by March 20, and PTI has the complete trust of its allies in this regard.
PTI vs PML-Q
Earlier, Fawad had said that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi suggested extending the date for the dissolution of the provincial assemblies.
Contrary to Khan’s announcement that the provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP would be dissolved during this month, the Punjab chief minister on December 5 said that he did not see elections taking place in the next four months.
“It does not matter if the National Assembly is not dissolved. New governments would be formed in Punjab and KP in March after the elections,” he added.
No polls in the next four months
On December 5, the CM Punjab said that he did not see elections taking place in the next four months.
“Elections cannot be held before four months; the federal and provincial governments need time to work and the elections may be delayed even after October next year,” he said.
Although the PML-Q leader has repeatedly stated that he fully supports Khan’s decisions, his statement contradicts Khan’s threats to dissolve the assembly soon.