A large number of supporters of Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan "besieged" the governor’s house in Lahore on Thursday and warned the governor of de-notifying the chief executive of Punjab province on the pretext of a trust vote.
Khan, addressing the participants via video link from his residence in Lahore, criticised the federal government for creating hurdles in the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.
The constitutional crisis in Punjab has deepened following Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s refusal to obtain a vote of confidence on the order of Punjab Governor Baligur Rehman of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Seventy-year-old Khan had announced the dissolution of Punjab and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on December 23 to push the federal coalition government to call for snap elections.
The elections are due between October and November 2023 after the completion of the tenure of the incumbent government. The Punjab governor after the cricketer-turned-politician's announcement sought a vote of confidence from the chief minister.
The opposition PML-N in Punjab also moved a no-trust motion against Elahi so that he could not dissolve the assembly.
In an unprecedented move, the PML-N-led federal government has deployed the Pakistan Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary (FC) in and outside the governor’s house for its protection.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman further said only free and fair elections could steer the country out of the political quagmire.
He also asked the institutions to take stock of the situation. “Are the institutions not worried about where Pakistan is heading? Soon there will be a situation that the country slips out of everyone’s hands,” he warned, stressing that the only chance to get out of this mess lies in free and fair elections.
Khan said the 13 coalition parties, including the PML-N and Pakistan People's Party (PPP), were running from elections as they knew that they could not defeat Khan-led PTI.
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