ISLAMABAD - Terming Imran Khan's demand for resignation of prime minister extra-constitutional, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said government could not offer more than the formation of a three-member judicial commission to probe the election rigging.
"Imran Khan's demand for resignation of prime minister is extra-constitutional, which cannot be fulfilled,” said the finance minister while addressing a press conference along with other cabinet members. He said Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif had accepted the demand of Imran Khan to constitute a judicial commission to probe the election rigging. The PTI chief in a television interview had demanded for constitution of a judicial commission.
Dar further said the PTI chief should accept the offer of the premier and let the judicial commission investigate the alleged rigging allegations. He said wisdom should prevail and this political instability must come to an end. Some people are trying to destabilise the country, he added.
"Imran knows very well that his demands [for caretaker setup] are unconstitutional. The prime minister cannot be removed according to his wishes," Dar remarked.
"We have done enough by accepting his demand for constitution of a judicial commission but he did not accept it. Either he is taking his decision by own or somebody else asking him to do so".
To a question, the finance minister said that government's relations with military establishment were friendly, which could be gauged from the operation Zarb-e-Azab that was being carried out with mutual understanding.
The finance minister was flanked by his cabinet colleagues including Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, State Minister for Privatisation Commission Mohammad Zubair and MNA Marvi Memmon.
The finance minister criticised Imran by saying, "You cannot be Supreme Court, Election Commission of Pakistan, high court or chief executive of the country. Honour any of the institution". Ishaq Dar said Karachi Stock Exchange crashed by 1,300 points in last few days due to the political uncertainly in the country, which was around Rs 300 billion.
Ishaq Dar alleged PTI for making pre-result victory announcement in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province questioning the justification for the announcements and speeches.
He clarified that PML-N had started its celebration on election night (May 11, 2013) after it saw wining signs on different private channels.
"It was the duty of the prime minister to address the workers who come to felicitate him on the expected win in the elections," he added. The finance minister made it clear that Imran and the Azadi March would be dealt with politically, while Tahirul Qadri would be dealt administratively.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Privatization Commission Muhammad Zubair said no international or local institution had predicted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's victory in 2013 elections. Victory of PML-N on 130 seats was predicted by various international organisations including Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), he added
He said FAFEN in its post-election report declared elections as free and fair. He said over 40,000 representatives of the organisation-monitored elections inside polling stations and results of 264 out of 272 constituencies were similar to that of election commission.
The minister said according to Tasneem Durrani report, PTI lost elections due to his party's internal dynamics. He said Imran did not like to pay attention to anyone's words. He said if PTI polling agents were not trained then he must accept his incompetence.
Mohammad Zubair said PTI had filed only three complaints regarding rigging in provincial assemblies election out of total 563 seats in the election tribunals. “Imran says that our candidates were innocent, as they had no experience in elections,” he added.
Talking about ‘35 Punctures’, the minister said that PML-N had won only 12 seats out of the aforesaid 35 seats. He alleged that PTI's candidates did not appear in the election tribunals that caused delay in hearing of their cases.