Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) General Secretary Asad Umar has said that neutrality is nowhere in the country as PTI lawmakers are being forced to switch their loyalties.
While addressing a press conference along with former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, Umar said that efforts were underway to force PTI lawmakers to defect against their will.
“Our MNAs and MPAs told us that they are being contacted to convince that their future is not with the PTI,” he claimed.
He also said that inflation mounted to the extreme during the past nine months. The country’s economy has been pushed down into a ravine, he added. He said that the country’s foreign exchange reserves are not sufficient enough to pay for the import of three weeks.
Asad Umer expressed deep concern over the current economic crisis and questioned that “Who is responsible for it? Who will be accountable to the nation?”
He said that an elected prime minister with 156 seats was sent home and an unelected government was installed.
The PTI leader said that the incumbent government is deviating from the Constitution by not announcing a schedule for the elections in the provinces. He warned that Article 6 of the Constitution would be applicable “if polls are not held within 90 days”.
On the other hand, former finance minister Shaukat Tarin said that the country’s debt rose by Rs4.5 trillion during the past two days due to the rupee’s nosedive. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is stressing the government to impose new taxes worth Rs3.2 trillion, he added
Read more: ECP Announces By-polls On 33 NA Seats Vacated By PTI Members
The Election Commission has announced to hold by-elections on the 33 National Assembly seats vacated by PTI members, on March 16.
On Jan 25, the top electoral authority denotified 43 members of the National Assembly who were elected on the party’s ticket.
Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had accepted the resignations of 43 more PTI legislators in the lower house of the federal Parliament. The NA had earlier processed the resignations at least twice.
The former ruling party had submitted its resignations from the NA in April 2022, in protest at an alleged “regime change conspiracy” that PTI chairman Imran Khan claims was behind the vote of no confidence that ousted his government.
The resignations were not accepted at first – due to statutory requirements and legal procedures, but mostly in the hope that party’s chief Imran Khan would take another ‘U-turn’ and return to the assembly. However, they were then processed in batches, with at least 69 resignations approved since 17 January.