Assembly formed through Karachi-like LG polls to be unacceptable: Shah Mehmood Qureshi


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned on Friday that if the next assembly was formed through the recent Karachi-like local government (LG) elections, people would not accept it.
He was speaking to the media outside the Parliament House, along with PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry and former NA Speaker Asad Qaiser here.

Pointing towards the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQMP), he said the allies of the coalition government were saying that they would not be a part of the system.

The PTI vice president, taunting the PPP for approaching Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said the party always criticised the JI, and now wanted to form an alliance with it.

He added the JI always claims to make a corruption-free Pakistan and its leadership should also think about its narrative before shaking hands with the PPP-led Sindh government.

Shah Mehmood said, “The country is going through testing times. We took some hard decisions.” He said that convincing the members to resign from the National Assembly wasn’t an easy task but they revived the MNAs’ confidence in the PTI chief and convinced them to resign from their seats, adding that dissolving the assemblies was the only choice they had.

Qureshi bashed the ruling government and said the ministers failed to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He maintained Miftah Ismail’s recent statements clearly show that there are differences among the PDM leaders, adding that Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leaders also feared that the alliance will lead to the destruction of their own party.

He blasted the NA speaker over “piecemeal acceptance” of the party lawmakers’ resignations, terming it not only condemnable but also an illegal and immoral act.

The PTI leaders reiterated that it was high time to send the government packing to pave the way for fresh elections in order to safeguard and protect the country’s interests. They insisted the NA speaker should have accepted all resignations of the PTI MNAs in one go.

Qureshi said Speaker Pervez Ashraf had proved by his actions that he was not the custodian of the house but the representative of a party.

He pointed out that Pervez Ashraf wrote to them that he could not accept the resignations en masse as he wanted to make sure the decision was without any external pressure, because it was his constitutional responsibility.

Qureshi said that today he backed away from his responsibility and accepted the resignations of 35 more MNAs, adding that the act further exposed the imported government. He said he had brought along the PTI MNAs, whose resignations were yet to be accepted, so that the speaker could verify and accept them, but he (speaker) postponed the meeting.

He contended that the PTI wanted snap polls so that people could decide for themselves the future government, but the rulers did not want to face the people. The PTI leader claimed that the imported rulers had no roadmap to get the country out of the untold crises but would just cling to power to get rid of their corruption cases.

Senior PTI leader Asad Umar said the speaker used to say that he could not accept resignations without consulting the lawmakers concerned. He asked if the speaker called those MPs whose resignations were accepted. He termed the acceptance of resignations illegal and a mockery of democracy.

He explained that the PTI MNAs had gone to the assembly, but not only the speaker but his entire staff was also missing.

Fawad Chaudhry said they were standing before a feeble and helpless Parliament. “Only a small percentage of Pakistan is represented in the assemblies today. This is how they are running the country,” he remarked. He recalled that the NA speaker used to say that 17 to 18 people were in touch with him, he should show them as to where were those lawmakers now. “All our remaining MNAs are present here and demanding that their resignations should be accepted today. The speaker is not capable of sitting here,” he said.

Fawad Ch also warned the government that the country had been moving towards a situation similar to Sri Lanka, as Pakistan was facing the worst political and economic crisis at present, demanding that all resignations should be accepted. “The speaker has once again run away from the assembly. We should be given the date of general elections,” Fawad demanded.