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‘Political engineering’ under way, alleges Imran

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday urged the “military establishment to refrain from political engineering” in the general elections later this year, accusing former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of causing the current political and economic chaos in the country.Addressing the party’s women convention in Karachi via video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, the PTI chairman underscored that currently, the “PTI is the only party that can pull the country out of the current economic quagmire”, reiterating his demand for free and fair elections in the country.

The former premier slammed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying that the plan to impose the PML-N government on Punjab was now under way, claiming that if an attempt was made to steal public mandate, people would not accept it.

Imran said, “Unlike the past, now people of Pakistan cannot even attach their hopes to the establishment as a powerful man – Gen [retd] Qamar – has pushed the country into the current chaos.”

Now, he added, only a strong government backed by public mandate could take difficult decisions required to heal the ailing economy.

The PTI chief expressed fear that political engineering would be carried out in the next general elections to weaken the PTI – which he stressed “is the most popular political party”, urging the powerful quarters to refrain from making such a mistake as a government formed against the will of the people would not be able to resolve mammoth problems faced by the country.

Lashing out at the PML-N and the PPP leadership, Imran said: “For 20 years, both of these two ruling families have been levelling allegations against each other.”

Imran lamented that masses were deprived of wheat flour, highlighting that people were losing their lives to buy a sack of flour.

People were being forced to flee the country under the current circumstances. “So far 750,000 Pakistanis have left their homeland.” He stressed that if the situation was not controlled, the country would be dragged into a quagmire like Sri Lanka.

Earlier, Imran alleged that the military establishment did not appear to be neutral in the matter of the vote of confidence against Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

He claimed that his party’s lawmakers were being asked to vote against Elahi in the vote of confidence. So far, he said, at least three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly had confirmed being approached by the “establishment people”.

Imran said that the allied parties in Punjab wanted to complete their numbers game before the court asked Elahi to obtain a vote of confidence, and had prepared a strategy in this regard.

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