LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan stated on Saturday his party would not put forward a demand for mid-term elections, contending that the incumbent rulers’ failure to address the vital issues facing the country would not let them last their term.

Talking to newsmen during a special sitting at his residence here, Khan parried a query about his party’s poor show of strength on December 22, saying they had to end the rally at GPO Chowk instead of Faisal Chowk in front of Punjab Assembly, due to time constraints.  Khan did not really tell whether or not PTI workers, who had to wait for him at Faisal Chowk for hours, were disappointed with him.

Khan had concluded PTI’s rally at GPO Chowk on the advice of some party members who had noticed ‘evaporation’ among the participants near Neela Gumbad, a stop or two short of the rally’s original destination ie GPO Chowk.

PTI chief, to another question about huge cost of the anti-inflation rally, tried to snub the reporter instead of giving a fair reply.  Regarding PTI’s participation in Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Sunday protest rally, Khan said Dr Tahirul Qadri did not consult him. He however added that both the political forces had similar views on the various issues and they could join hands in the future. 

Talking about the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz plans for not awarding tickets to some of the aspirants for local government elections, Khan claimed that the country had suffered a lot due to non-party politics. Non-party basis polls had opened doors of corruption that started in 1985 when general elections were held on non-party basis and political loyalties were bought, he went on to say. He added that such election examples led to Chaanga Maanga and Bhurban politics.

About any chance of a military takeover, Khan said that the best replacement for a poor democratic government had always been a good democratic rule and not a military coup.  Commenting on energy crisis and initiation of work on Kalabagh Dam, Khan said the apprehensions of Sindh should be addressed to take up this project and Punjab should play a major role on that count.  He added that misconceptions and deprivations had already created East Pakistan and all the political forces should learn a lesson from that disgraceful tragedy.  Confronting Prime Minister Sharif’s statement about PTI’s protest against drones through suspension of NATO supply routes, Khan said the PML-N along with the PPP had not only been a party to the Parliamentary resolutions (present and previous) against drones but also a party to the anti-drone resolution in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly.

He maintained that in these resolutions the blockade of NATO supplies was specifically mentioned.

The PML-N had, he added, convened an all-party conference in which its government was given the mandate of commencing dialogue and ending drone strikes by the United States. He said he had asked the prime minister what he would do if the US torpedoes the peace process.

Khan further said the prime minister had assured him that he would take up the issue not only with the US administration but also in the United Nations.

Khan said his party would continue with a blockade of NATO supply lines until the federal government could get an assurance from the US for an end to drone strikes.

He remarked that Pakistan was not isolated at all because of PTI’s opposition to drone attacks, as it was the US that was isolated on drone attacks even at the UN.