PTI seeks ‘betterment, not deterioration’ in ties with army, judiciary

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ISLAMABAD, DEC 5 /DNA/ – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday that the party sought “betterment” in ties with the armed forces and judiciary, not “deterioration” of their relationship.

In a press conference in Islamabad, Fawad said: “We are seeing that constantly, despite our efforts for betterment, [there is] deterioration in ties with the judiciary and the armed forces. Some elements are exacerbating the differences.”

The PTI said the country’s leadership should ensure that human rights violations should be stopped immediately. “The way in which the law was violated in the last 7 to 8 months should end.”

The ex-federal minister said that after the registration of the first information reports (FIR) against Senator Azam Swati — who is behind bars in the case of controversial tweets — FIRs are also being lodged against party leader Shahbaz Gill.

“We have serious concerns over this. We believe that despite our attempts to better the ties, someone, or maybe the federal government is trying to worsen the situation.”

‘Incomplete’ political scene

The PTI leader mentioned that the party’s leaders are facing multiple cases and there were reports of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) mulling to start proceedings against Imran Khan for his removal as party chief.

“The political scene in the country is incomplete without Imran Khan,” Fawad said, claiming that given the situation in the country, the party believes that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman might shift abroad.

Fawad further said although the situation is worsening, the PTI wants to move towards general elections and stresses that the government should not resort to any “unconstitutional” move when it comes to the formation of an interim government.

“In Pakistan, an interim government cannot stay [in power] after i’s stipulated time. The constitution does not allow it and we reject any proposal related to this,” he said.

Resignations

The PTI leader said when the party’s lawmakers are mulling the strategy amid the no-confidence motion, a majority of them were of the opinion that they should not hand in their resignations.

“However, once Imran Khan and the party decided, everyone saw that a historic 127 resignations were presented in the National Assembly and were accepted,” Fawad said.

The former federal minister also said that there might be a difference of opinion between the lawmakers in the two provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the final call would be Khan’s.

“In this regard, we have kicked off meetings. We have summoned Lahore’s MNAs and MPAs to hear them out. Tomorrow, Khan has called a meeting of the party’s senior leaders to mull the strategy relating to politics and assemblies’ dissolution,” he said.

He added that another crucial issue that Pakistan faces was that of the economy as the foreign exchange reserves — held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) — had fallen below $8 billion.