Country will sink otherwise: Ex-Pak premier calls for free and fair polls

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that his "country is sinking" as he announced that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces will dissolve their assemblies on December 23 to pave the way for fresh polls.

Imran Khan also reiterated his demand for free and fair elections
Imran Khan also reiterated his demand for free and fair elections. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@ians_india

"Till the time free and fair elections are not held, we are all afraid that the country (Pakistan) is sinking," PTI chairman Khan said in a video address with Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan by his side.

Imran Khan also reiterated his demand for free and fair elections, warning the country might sink otherwise. He said free and fair elections were the only solution to Pakistan's problems and said the government was "afraid" of new elections due to the fear of losing, Dawn reported.

"Once we dissolve both the assemblies, we will hold elections in the provinces. Also, our 123-125 National Assembly members – whose resignations have not been accepted — will ask the speaker inside the assembly to accept their resignations," he said.

Elaborating on the PTI's plan of action after dissolving the assemblies, he said, "Then we will prepare for elections after that and with our around 130 seats in the National Assembly, we will go to the NA speaker and demand him to accept our resignations instead of picking a few."

Addressing the people of Pakistan, the PTI chief asked the nation to refrain from being disappointed, saying it was akin to "running away from our duty to society", the Dawn newspaper reported.

He said a "lesson should be taught through elections" to the government and deal it "such a defeat that the names of these thieves are wiped out forever".

Imran Khan said the country would "stand up" when "tough decisions" are taken for "restructuring institutions and establishing justice in the country".

At the beginning of his address, Imran Khan bemoaned about the country's current economic situation under the Shehbaz Sharif government. He said a government with a fresh mandate and the nation's support behind it would be able to raise its stature, Dawn reported.

He said the country needed "fresh and fair elections as we fear the country is drowning."

On his ouster from power in April via a no confidence motion, the PTI chief asked, "My question today is, who was responsible for this regime change?"

He blamed Pakistan's former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for being involved in the "conspiracy" hatched against his party.

"Gen Bajwa is the only person responsible for bringing down the PTI government," the former Pak prime minister was quoted as saying by The News International reported during his address.