Infostani International: On Friday, Imran Khan, the founding chairman of PTI and former prime minister, expressed concerns that a “dirty election” could lead to increased instability in the country. He stated that his party would prefer to be in opposition rather than forming a coalition government.
Imran Khan’s Candid Views: Elections, Military Allegiances, and National Challenges
The imprisoned former premier made these remarks during an informal conversation with the media at Adiala jail. Imran asserted that his party would secure 90 percent of the soldiers’ votes come February 8. He accused former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, whom he blames for orchestrating his ouster, of stating in a meeting at The President’s Secretariat, “the entire army was with you.”
According to Imran, Bajwa’s decisions had “ruined Pakistan,” but he clarified that the entire institution shouldn’t be blamed. He emphasized the current objective of bringing “incompetents” to power for a parliament that can be easily controlled.
Since March 19, 2023, Imran reiterated that holding free and fair elections is the only solution. He admitted that his first mistake was forming the government and that he should have gone for re-election. Extending Gen (retd) Bajwa’s tenure, he said, was his second mistake.
Imran stated that it would be more useful for the party to sit in the opposition than to form a coalition government, as a dirty election would create more instability. He emphasized the need for reforms to reduce economic deficits and uphold the rule of law. Critiquing Nawaz for contesting in the upcoming elections, Imran questioned PML-N’s performance during its 16 months in power. He elaborated that during Shehbaz Sharif’s tenure, the economy suffered, around 1.5 million professionals left the country, and Pakistan’s external deficit increased manifold.
Imran’s Critique on Economic Indicators, Foreign Relations, and the Call for Political Solutions
Imran claimed that when he was ousted, the growth rate, around 6.7 percent, reduced to zero during Shehbaz’s tenure, and inflation increased from 12.4 percent to 38 percent. He highlighted the decrease in terrorism incidents during his tenure and good relations with then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which saw a downturn during PML-N’s tenure, leading to Pakistan’s isolation due to the adopted foreign policy.
Referring to the recent flare-up with Iran, Imran criticized Tehran’s strikes in Pakistan, stating it was a mistake. He warned that Israel, Iran’s enemy, would try to spoil relations. Imran mentioned his government’s efforts to maintain cordial relations with India, expressing regret over increasing hatred due to the expulsion of Afghans.
Maintaining that guns and violence do not solve issues, Imran emphasized that a political government seeks political solutions, and the solution to the country’s current issues is to hold free and fair elections.