Marriyum dares Imran to go ahead.

Says ‘one needs courage to dissolve the assemblies instead of simply giving another date’

ISLAMABAD:Soon after PTI Chairman Imran Khan made the announcement to dissolve the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on December 23, the government asked the former premier to go ahead with his plan instead of “just giving dates”.

As the PTI chief disclosed the scheme, the incumbent regime chided him for “wasting time” by setting another date, saying it seemed Imran did not have the courage to dissolve the assemblies.

The PTI chairman’s move led the PML-N-led ruling alliance and the political observers to question why he had taken a week for the dissolution of assemblies and that what does he want to achieve during this time period. Nevertheless, taking the ultimatum seriously and to gauge the threat, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called a meeting of the party leaders on Sunday afternoon.

“He [Imran] wants the federal government to do certain things. Such tactics enhance pressures,” Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) President Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said while commenting on a week’s delay, adding “simultaneously, it gives some more time to negotiate.”

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb was quick to question the delay, saying “one needs courage to dissolve the assemblies instead of simply giving another date”.

The governments’ spokesperson asserted that Imran could not dissolve assemblies because they were providing protection to his “corruption”.

“The coalition government is not afraid of Imran Khan who is a coward, liar and hypocrite person and does not have courage to dissolve the assemblies which he believes will help him save his skin in foreign funding, Toshakhana and other cases,” she said while addressing a news conference soon after the PTI chief’s speech.

Marriyum said that Imran was using the mantra of dissolution of assemblies to cover his “thefts”. She added that the PTI chairman would not go ahead with his plan as he knew that there would be “no free helicopter rides and funds” for screening his speeches if the assemblies are dissolved.

The information minister said that the former premier had no interest with the “people or democracy”, observing he proved it once again by giving a new date for the dissolution of the assemblies.

Without power in the two provinces, she said, Imran knows that all his wrong deeds would be unearthed, alleging that the whole exercise was just to cover up misdeeds.

On PTI chief’s unabated criticism of the former army chief, Marriyum said Imran should have informed the nation about the interference of institutions in the government affairs when he was in power, stressing that he should have dissolved the National Assembly at that time. But ironically, she said, he “lacked such courage” back then.

Realising that the opponents once against got a chance to conjecture and people had started questioning the delay, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the delay was linked with the time needed for finalising the preparation of the resignations earlier given by PTI lawmakers in the National Assembly.

“The reason for the six-day break is that during this time we have to take action for the resignations of the National Assembly,” Chaudhry tweeted.

A total 123 PTI lawmakers had verbally resigned from the National Assembly back in April this year but their resignations are pending for verification till now.

Recently, PTI decided that all its lawmakers would appear before the NA speaker for the reconfirmation of the resignations so that the government is forced to go for general elections as the PML-N led coalition government has repeatedly ruled out polls even if Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies are dissolved.

It may be recalled that Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi repeatedly said in the recent past that he would not “even think for a second” and dissolve the assembly in the “blinking of an eye” whenever the PTI chairman would ask him.

However, PTI leaders reveal, a decision has yet to be taken as Elahi’s reluctance and last ditch efforts to save Punjab Assembly are still underway.

Some sources also claimed that the government was still considering how it could save the assemblies from dissolution and that different legal and constitutional aspects were not only being discussed but were on the agenda of PM’s meeting with his party lawmakers and allies.

Since April this year, the country has been embroiled into elections talk as PTI has been demanding snap polls while the ruling alliance has frequently vowed to complete the remaining constitutional period of the government.

As a result, the country is facing severe political challenges coupled with the already tough economic situation, especially, the shrinking forex reserves.

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