Only NA will decide about election date, says PM

ISLAMABAD   –   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said the present government would complete its constitutional tenure and the decision to announce the next general polls will be taken by the parliament. “The government will not accept dictation or blackmailing of anyone to announce the date of next general elections,” said the PM while addressing the National Assembly after passing the amendments in the ‘NAB ordinance’ and ‘elections bills’. The PM made this statement apparently after PTI Chairman Imran Khan warned the government to fix date for new elections in the next six days or he will again march towards the capital.

About PTI’s chief Imran Khan, he said that the doors for the talks were always open but no one can blackmail the incumbent government. “This government would continue its hard work to put the country on a right path in economic and other fronts,” he said, mentioning that there were a lot of difficulties and challenges for the present government.

“Today the house has to decide with consensus either to save the country for devastation or put it on a right path with efforts and struggle,” he said, adding that this government would work hard and regain its lost honour. “For how long will this drama continue in the country,” he questioned.

Considering the current economic crisis as a challenge, he said the government is facing a difficult and daunting task but with commitment it can be tackled. “The situation can be improved with effort and continuous hard work,” he said.

About the long-march led by PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan, he criticized the PTI workers clashes with the police yesterday. “Wasn’t it reminiscent of the scene witnessed during the PTI’s sit-in in 2014,” he said and condemned the former ruling party [PTI] for criticizing the courts. “This party [PTI] changes its tone depending on the decisions,” he remarked.

Strongly lamenting the damages caused to Islamabad’s greenery, he said the national assembly would have to take a decision whether the country would be taken towards chaos or towards prosperity. “They [protesters] put trees and public property in Islamabad on fire, which is very unfortunate,” he said, mentioning that the former prime minister Imran Khan and his cronies had done nothing except promoting the culture of hurling abuse and intolerance in the country.

He also lauded the personnel of law enforcement agencies, including Islamabad Police, Rangers, FC, traffic police, district administration and other institutions for ensuring law and order in the federal capital and protecting lives and properties of the people. He announced a package for the martyred policeman in Lahore and other police officials, who got injured during PTI’s long march.

The prime minister also criticized PTI’s chairman for not changing their march’s date from the day that Kashmiri freedom leader Yasin Malik was due to be sentenced by an Indian court.

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