LAHORE – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will launch a massive protest drive if government fails to form a neutral caretaker set up and President Asif Ali Zardari remains in office as he is also the Co-Chairperson of a lead coalition party.
This was stated by PTI Chief Imran Khan.while addressing a Press conference at party’s Central Secretariat on Monday.
Imran while giving a deadline to President Zardari for leaving the Presidency till the formation of the caretaker set up announced that PTI would launch a massive protest drive if Zardari fails to meet the deadline.
He said that free and transparent polls could not be held under a President who was leading a major political party of the ruling alliance.
Imran said, “fair and transparent elections cannot be held under the sitting President and PTI therefore demands his resignation”.
He said, “the person who is President should be truly a symbol of the federation and neutral for all the political stakeholders”.
Imran said, “I believe in change through democratic means but we will come on streets to protect the real spirit of democracy and Constitution”.
He said that PTI would not accept Asma Jehangir as the head of the caretaker set up, as she didn’t qualify the criterion for the caretaker Prime Minister.
Imran said, “Asma Jehangir has a history of opposing PTI and she is closely aligned with PPP. She has shown continuous disrespect for the judiciary. We therefore do not think that she fits the criterion”.
He said, “ the person to be nominated for the caretaker Prime Minister must be completely neutral and not prejudiced against any party. The person must have impeccable personal integrity. The nominee must have respect for national institutions particularly the judiciary. The caretaker PM must not make any fundamental change in the contours of national policy, management of the economy, foreign policy or any other critical national area”.
Imran said that a caretaker government must be accepted as a neutral authority by all the political forces, which was capable of holding free and fair elections.
Imran stated that the performance of the Election Commission was not satisfactory, as the two major ruling parties in Punjab and Centre were not abiding by the electoral rules and regulations.
The PTI Chairman said, “An Election Commission cannot be accepted as neutral without all mandatory powers to ensure that all electoral laws are observed strictly”.
He said, “we have complete faith in the Chief Election Commissioner but we are not satisfied with the other members of the commission. Therefore, we think EC needs to be reconstituted and it has been demanded by us in our seven points”.
Replying to a query, Imran remarked that formation of a province in South Punjab was just an election stunt and the parties making tall claims over this matter would disappoint the voters ultimately.
Responding to another question, he maintained that he would never think of participation in PML-N sit-in and the announcement he made on January 27th was uttered due to a misunderstanding.
He said that there was no possibility of joining hands with the PML-N at any stage.
Replying to yet another query, Imran said “we had under immense pressure from some party circles to join the long march but PTI’s stance on the national election differs with Dr. Qadri’s agenda”.
However, he said that the long march had also positive outcomes, which include consultation with all the political parties on all the issues relating to fair conduct of next polls.
Imran claimed that PTI would emerge as the majority party in the results of the next general elections despite the fact that all the forces of status quo had made a secret deal keep the leaders of change away from the power corridors.
Senior party leaders including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mehmood and Jehangir Tareen were also present on this occasion.