Political instability in Pakistan continues to pose serious challenges to the countrys future since former Prime Minister Imran Khans announced dissolving of two major provincial and two legislative assemblies with an intent to trigger and pressure the federal government to announce early elections and succumb to his demand.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its major coalition in country’s largest province Punjab, led by Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi, who is also leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), have been on constant consultations to formulate a plan to take take forward Khan’s announcement.
While the PML-Q leader has stated openly that he would not oppose Khan’s decision and will dissolve the Punjab Assembly within 20 minutes when he will be asked to take action, the former premier has also sent ahead an offer to the incumbent ruling coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to come to the table for talks on a one-point agenda of holding early elections.
But the government has rejected Khan’s demand for conditional talks, stating that there can be no negotiations on pre-conditions.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah called on Khan to either come to table talks with the government without any pre-conditions or go ahead and dissolve the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial assemblies.
“There can be no talks with Imran Khan. And let me make this clear as well. If he thinks that by dissolving the Punjab and KP assemblies, he can pressure federal government to hold general elections in the country.. then he is mistaken… if he wants to dissolve them, go ahead,” he said while addressing the media in Islamabad.
“In case the assemblies are dissolved, there will be bypolls held in the two provinces. The federal government will complete its term and general elections will also be held on time,” he added.
On the other hand, sources have confirmed that Khan’s ally party PML-Q has also been in contact with the military establishment, which has directed the political parties to restrain from increasing political instability in the country, which will most certainly will aggravate if the assemblies are dissolved.
While the twists and turns of Khan’s ally parties posing challenges to the former premier’s narrative and political discourse moving forward, the incumbent government and its coalition parties, especially Pakistan People Party (PPP) through its leader and former President Asif Ali Zardari, is holding important backdoor meetings with the PML-Q leadership to further weaken the PTI chairman’s political standing and standing popularity.
PTI is utilising time to engage with the new military establishment and create pathways to mend ways and terms and seek support for the party and Khan against the opposing political parties.