Pakistan PM Sharif snubs Imran on early polls demand
In a sharp response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan's demand for early polls in the country, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the National Assembly would decide the date for the next general elections. "I want to clarify to the leader of this group (PTI), your dictation won't work. This house will decide when to hold elections," Sharif said.
- Sharif made the comments during a Parliament session and he lashed out at Khan, who took the city of Islamabad "hostage" on Wednesday.
- Khan is demanding early elections in the country and pressurizing the Pakistan government to announce a date for fresh elections.
- Notably, Sharif came to power after ousting Khan as the prime minister through a no-confidence motion in April this year.
On Wednesday, clashes between the police and PTI workers were reported from major cities of Pakistan after authorities tried to block them from moving toward D-Chowk in Islamabad. Khan vowed not to vacate D-Chowk until a date for elections was announced. Khan reached Islamabad late on Wednesday night, breaking through the barriers and braving police shelling. However, they dispersed after negotiations with the police.
Meanwhile, Khan also gave a six-day deadline to the government to announce elections dissolving the assemblies. Khan reportedly threatened that if the deadline is not met he would return to the capital with the "entire nation."
Addressing his supporters Thursday morning, Khan said he had decided to go ahead with his vow. "But of what I have seen in the past 24 hours, they (government) are taking the nation towards anarchy," he added. Blaming the government for trying to create a divide, he said the government would be happy if he staged a sit-in as it would lead to clashes.