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Sheikh Rashid wants establishment to intervene, hold early elections

Updated 02 Apr, 2022
n the press conference, Rashid assured that all MNAs would be provided protection and security for the crucial National Assembly session on Sunday (tomorrow) when the voting on the no-trust motion against the premier would be held. Screengrab/ @RadioPakistan
n the press conference, Rashid assured that all MNAs would be provided protection and security for the crucial National Assembly session on Sunday (tomorrow) when the voting on the no-trust motion against the premier would be held. Screengrab/ @RadioPakistan

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday said the establishment should step in and hold early elections either after Ramadan or Hajj as in the prevailing situation the government cannot function and it was the "best possible" solution.

“Early elections are the only solution to the current scenario in the country as the political situation will keep evolving every hour during the next 24 hours,” Rashid said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

The interior minister also presented two more options for resolving the current political scenario. "If this [no-confidence motion] is a foreign conspiracy, the parties that are plotting against Prime Minister Imran Khan and have taken bribes from international entities should be banned and terrorism cases should be filed against them."

Rashid said if the establishment does not hold early elections, the third and only solution is that all serving PTI lawmakers resign from their posts, "and I shall see how they are able to run the country."

On being asked about his statement about the intervention of the establishment for early elections, he clarified that he is asking Pakistan's people to play their part and is not asking foreign powers to intervene.

In an interview with ARY News on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the 'establishment' offered him three options in the current scenario, namely the no-confidence motion, resignation from his post, or fresh elections.

"Early election is the best option, I will urge my nation to give me a simple majority so that I won't have to do compromises," he said.

Early election the best option among three 'establishment' gave me, says PM Imran

In the press conference, Rashid assured that all MNAs would be provided protection and security for the crucial National Assembly session on Sunday (tomorrow) when the voting on the no-trust motion against the premier would be held.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday wrote a letter addressing to the chief commissioner, deputy commissioner and inspector general of police Islamabad, seeking complete security for all MNAs who would be voting on Sunday, reported Dawn.

He referred to the prime minister’s conversation with media representatives on March 29 during which he said 100,000 PTI supporters would gather outside the Parliament House on the day of the no-trust vote. "Any such gathering would be in blatant violation of the additional district magistrate’s order dated March 18 that prohibits the gathering of five or more persons inside the Red Zone under Section 144 of the CrPC," read the letter.

Expressing reservations about the gathering, he alleged that it would inevitably provoke other parties to bring their supporters for self-protection, which might lead to bloodshed and chaos.

The Interior minister continued that there was no explanation under Article 94 of the Constitution about the tenure of the prime minister after he/she was being dismissed from his post.

“The president may ask the prime minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of prime minister,” read Article 94 of the Constitution.

Talking about the indictment of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz that was due on February 18, he said it was unfortunate that now "a thief in the Punjab and a robber in the federal capital are candidates for the chief executive positions."