Political parties oppose PTI?s demand for early polls

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Political parties have opposed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's demand for early election.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said on Monday that the PPP did not support the call for early elections in the country. Talking about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Shah said Nawaz knew who his enemy was adding that his [Nawaz] close associates were conspiring against him. He said that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was the acting prime minister of the country adding that it was the joke of the year that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called a disqualified person his prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Awami National Party (ANP) opposed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's demand for early elections in the country, terming it harmful to the democratic system. 

Speaking at 'Meet the Press' programme organised by the Peshawar Press Club here on Monday, ANP's central Information Secretary Zahid Khan said the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies should complete terms as his party didn't favour early elections. 

He said the mainstream political parties had opposed the demand and even the ruling PTI's coalition partner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jamaat-i-Islami, was against it. The ANP leader said his party would oppose any undemocratic move.

Zahid Khan believed that the situation would be different in the next general elections compared to 2013. 

The ANP leader expressed concern over the census results in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). He said the population of Fata had reduced in the fresh count, which would deprive the tribal region of their rightful share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. He believed that the merger of Fata with KP was likely to end the sufferings of
the tribal people and ensure them all fundamental rights. 

Zahid Khan said only the leaders of two parties were against the merger, which was an injustice to the people of the tribal region. The ANP leader said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata had been ignored in multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Zahid Khan urged the government to revisit its foreign policy, adding it should be reviewed in the best national interest. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata adversely suffered in the war against terrorism. He criticised the federal and provincial governments for not taking measures for economic and social development of the region.

Criticising Imran Khan, he said the PTI chairman slammed the former premier, Nawaz Sharif, for the protocol but Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak used helicopter to attend wedding functions in KP.

Zahid Khan alleged the PTI rigged the NA-4, Peshawar by-election. The ANP leader criticised the PTI-led provincial government for its failure to deliver in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He alleged corruption was at its peak in the province. 

Our correspondent from Islamabad adds: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry alleged that PPP and PML-N had a deal to oppose early general election, as they had a complete consensus on loot and plunder of the national resources. 

“There is no bar in the Constitution on the conduct of early general elections,” he said here in a statement. 

He recalled former prime minister and late chairperson of PPP Benazir Bhutto had launched a movement for holding early elections in 1993. He added the objective of Nawaz Sharif’s ‘Tehreek-e-Nijat’ was also the same.

Fawad said that both PPP and PML-N had been launching movements for elections before the expiry of term of the assemblies. He added a few months were left in completion of the mandated term of the present assemblies.

He pointed out that after the Brexit referendum, fresh elections were also held in Britain.