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Imran Khan Issues Ultimatum to Hold Fresh Elections in Pakistan

Imran Khan Issues Ultimatum to Hold Fresh Elections in Pakistan
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

In a veiled warning to Pakistan's military establishment, former prime minister Imran Khan has given an ultimatum to those who have ousted him to rectify their "mistake" by holding early elections or else his supporters will reach the capital to overthrow the "imported government".

Addressing a rally of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] at Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore on Thursday night, Khan lashed out at the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and those who brought it to power.

In an indirect reference to the military establishment, Khan said, "Those who had committed this mistake of ousting my government should rectify it by holding fresh elections without any delay." He also asked the people of Pakistan to wait for his call to reach the capital.

"Wait for my call when I will invite you to Islamabad. I am not giving a call just to the PTI but all Pakistanis. I want to make it clear that I don't want confrontation,” he said in an hour-long speech.

"The actual party has just begun, our campaign will intensify [...] wait for my call. I don't want anything else except early elections," he said.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Khan on Wednesday alleged that "some elements" in the powerful establishment who indulged in "bad practices" were responsible for his unceremonious ouster from power.

According to experts, Khan, who was ousted from power on April 10 after the National Assembly passed a no-confidence motion against him, had apparently lost the support of the Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI spy agency chief last year. Finally, he agreed but it soured his ties with the Army.

The Pakistan Army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.