Punjab Assembly to be dissolved in first phase

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to dissolve the Punjab Assembly in the initial phase, while the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the second phase.

Sources privy to the matter disclosed that the decision about the dissolution of the provincial assemblies and resignations from the National Assembly was made in the meeting chaired by PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday.

The meeting reviewed the current political situation, party’s strategy and future course of action at length, deciding that the K-P Assembly would be dissolved in the second phase. All members from Rawalpindi confirmed the decision to dissolve the Punjab Assembly and resign from the National Assembly, the sources added.

The meeting also decided to convert the nationwide protest movement into an electoral campaign as the PTI chairman issued instructions to MNAs and MPAs to start preparations for the upcoming elections.

The lawmakers announced their support for the PTI chairman’s decision of dissolving provincial assemblies, saying that the coalition government had failed to deliver and its policies had irreparably damaged Pakistan.

They added that the country was going through the biggest economic crisis, adding that transparent and snap elections were the only way to get out of the quagmire.

Addressing via video link, PTI Chairman Imran once again warned the nation and state institutions, including the establishment and judiciary, of dire consequences if the country had to face economic default.

Citing the example of the Soviet Union, he pointed out that Russia had the mightiest army in the world but it could not keep protecting the country when the economy got out of hand.

“God forbid if this happens in Pakistan, the entire country will be hurting, including the institutions,” he underscored.

Imran underscored that Pakistan Army and the judiciary had very important roles in the country. It is their responsibility to play their part to save the country from economic default by ensuring political stability in the country.

“I am unable to comprehend why state institutions are playing the role of silent spectators. The business community, which is being directly hit by the current economic chaos, is silent. The country’s exports are falling. Foreign exchange reserves are depleting fast. The country’s credit risk assessment is negative. I have never witnessed such economic turmoil in the country,” the former premier maintained.

He reiterated that free and fair elections were the only solution to the current political instability. “Everyone who is afraid to raise their voice against the current crisis will be responsible for the consequences. Foreign exchange reserves are shrinking so fast that soon we will not be able to pay instalments of our international loans and settle other liabilities, including payments to independent power producers, which are in dollars as per agreements,” he highlighted.

Imran pointed out that the difference between the dollar price in the open market and the banking sector surpassed Rs10 per dollar which badly hit the remittance proceeds of the country.

Local and international investors were already shy about making investments in Pakistan owing to the distrust and political instability in the country.

He reiterated that economic stability could not return in absence of political stability in the country.

Imran also lined up former finance minister Shaukat Tarin and a panel of renowned economists to shed light on the risk associated with the current economic turmoil and suggest proposals.

Tarin pointed out that the country had foreign exchange reserves for payments of only a month and the economic situation of the country was very bleak, while economic experts stressed on implementation of the IMF programme in true letter and spirit besides introducing major reforms.

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