ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has refuted allegations of the backing of a former spy master in its formation asserting that the calls of early elections by opposition had no substance more than their desire.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had behind him 22-year long struggle to climb the ladder of power and there is nothing true in the claim that major politicians came into the fold of his party on the insistence of an intelligence chief, said Senator Faisal Javed Khan in an interview to The Nation.

Last week, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) leader and Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in an interview to a TV channel had claimed that then Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha was instrumental in forcing the major politicians of his party to join the PTI much before 2013 General Elections. The leader of PML-Q, an ally of the PTI in the federal and Punjab governments, also shown its reservations over the performance of the ruling party in the province.

Faisal Javed says no possibility of an in-house change

Muttahida Quami Movement, another ally of the PTI in the centre, has recently also shown its concerns over the performance of the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government giving rise to speculations that the allies of PTI might part its ways with the government in future.

On the other hand, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, a major opposition party, this week demanded an early election in 2020 declaring this was the only way forward to steer the country out of present “political and economic challenges.” His demand came soon after the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) ended it 13-day long protest sit-in in Islamabad demanding resignation of PM and fresh elections. In the meanwhile, some speculations were doing the rounds about an in-house change in the centre and the Punjab was imminent.

However, PTI altogether rules out the possibility of an in-house change or early election and calls it mere a wish of the opposition parties. Senator Javed Khan, a close aide to PM Imran Khan, chastised his opponents and said both the founding leaders of PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party had an association with the military dictators but PTI never remained part of such regimes.

“When Prime Minister Imran Khan had delivered his first speech on the floor of the National Assembly after taking oath of his office in August last year, the opposition in the first hour had said that the government had failed to perform,” said Senator Khan.

He added that the opposition from the very first day of the formation of this government wanted fresh elections but this wish could never be materialized till the completion of the tenure of present assemblies. “Their demand has no material,” he said adding that they were making such demands out of desperation because of the present government’s on-going anti-corruption drive.

To a question whether PTI’s allies were on board with it, the PTI lawmaker said that those cabinet members of PM among allies were on the same page with the federal government and they actually represented their parties. “If some dissenting voices are coming, these can be some individual voices but did not represent the stance of their parties.” He also said they also endorse the government’s actions and have been showing their confidence on the leadership of PM in the parliamentary parties’ meeting.

Dr Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a political analyst, agreed that he did not see any in-house change or fresh elections in near future in the present political atmosphere of the country.

“Opposition usually talks such to give an impression that government is not performing well but practically, I don’t see any solid reason or move on the ground to happen this,” he said.