Imran Khan hints at returning to Pakistan's National Assembly
For the first time, opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday hinted at returning to the National Assembly to be part of the consultative process of a caretaker setup for general elections later this year.
Following Khan's ouster as prime minister through a no-confidence motion in April last year, the 131 PTI members of the National Assembly had resigned. However, the NA speaker has yet to accept their resignations and called in all the PTI lawmakers to verify if their resignations are "genuine and voluntary".
Talking to journalists at his residence here on Monday, Khan said: "If we don't return to the National Assembly then the PML-N led coalition government will form the caretaker setup (after completion of its tenure in this August) in consultation with handpicked opposition leader Raja Riaz. We don't let this happen." This is the first time Khan spoke his mind about going back to the National Assembly since his ouster as premier.
Khan has also said that President Arif Alvi will soon ask Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to secure a vote of confidence from the National Assembly.
"We are going to test Shehbaz Sharif. He is going to have sleepless nights as we are in contact with PML-N MNAs. He will struggle to prove majority in the house," he said.
On the other hand, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the federal coalition has required numbers in the lower house if the President asks Shehbaz to take a vote of confidence.
Pakistan's Punjab Assembly has already been dissolved by Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi of PTI-PMLQ on Khan's insistence.
Khan said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will be dissolved this week as well to push the federal coalition to announce the snap polls.
"If the federal government does not agree on snap polls, elections will be held in Punjab and KP provinces after 90 days," he said.