Next elections only after govt completes tenure: Marriyum

| Information Minister says ECP officials won’t go missing like PTI govt did in Daska | Asks Imran to apologise to nation for price hike


ISLAMABAD   –  Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday said that the general elections would be held after the present government completes its tenure, as she criticized former prime minister Imran Khan for his governance.

Addressing a news conference here, she said general elections are the right of the Pakistani people and added “When the elections are held this time, the mistake of the RTS failure will not happen again, Imran Khan sahib”. “This time, fog won’t appear like it did in Daska. This time, ballot boxes will not be stolen like it happened in Daska. This time, officers of the Election Commission of Pakistan will not go missing like they did in Daska,” she said further. The minister claimed that people had learnt from their mistake and would not vote for Imran Khan again, adding that they had realised that he was a “liar and a hypocrite”.

Aurangzeb’s remarks came a day after former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan, at a rally held at Minar-e-Pakistan and attended by thousands of supporters the other day, had once again demanded immediate elections, urging “whoever made the mistake” of ousting him should rectify it and call elections. The information minister said that the nation would decide for itself no matter what the ex-premier has been saying, also accusing him of trying to malign the institutions.

“This campaign that you’re running against the institutions … We have taken notice of it,” she said and added, “Sometimes you call strained relations with the Army the reason for your government’s fall. Sometimes you talk of a conspiracy”. “Let me tell you today, the reason for your ouster is you and your deeds,” Aurangzeb said.

The Information Minister further said that the former PM himself made the biggest mistakes. “He’s the man who snatched medicines from the public. He’s the man who created a sugar shortage. He’s the man who managed Modi’s campaigns. He’s the man who laundered money via foreign funding,” she said. “You talk about mistakes … You attacked the Constitution, you attacked parliament, you tried to attack the no-confidence vote. You looted the Bait-ul-Mal by selling the gifts that you got as the prime minister,” the federal minister said and added all these mistakes would be corrected now. “The nation has learnt and it will vote for those who brought it growth and prosperity,” she concluded.

She said that said ‘economic terrorism’ and autocratic steps like attack on the Parliament and the Constitution were hallmarks of the four-year misrule of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.

Imran Khan had attacked the Constitution as he tried to scuttle the constitutional move to remove him from the prime minister’s office through a vote of no-confidence, but ironically he was asking others for course correction, she said.

Marriyum asked Imran to apologise to the nation for skyrocketing prices of staple food items and medicines by unleashing ‘economic terrorism’ during his four years of rule.

He had failed to fulfill his claim of providing 10 million jobs, and instead rendered some 6 million people jobless due to his bad governance, she added.

She accused Imran of patronizing cartels and mafias, which led to increase in the prices of wheat flour, sugar and medicines.

Ridiculing Imran for repeating a speech ad nauseam, she said his lies and arrogance had no end.

Imran Khan was involved in money laundering through foreign funding of his party, she said, adding the case of PTI funding was being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

She said the country was reeling under the burden of record debts taken by Imran-led government, and the masses were suffering the consequences of his ‘economic terrorism’.

Imran had lost the confidence of people and ousted from the power through a democratic way of no-confidence move by the true public representatives, she added.

The minister said Toshakhana was the country’s Baitul Mal and Imran Khan, the so- called head of the “State of Madina” robbed it.

Taking a dig on the PTI leadership, she said they claimed to have won another World Cup after Imran’s visit to the United States.

The minister said Imran last night claimed that Farah Gujjar could not be held accountable as she held no public office, but he should remember that he had ordered to handcuff a daughter in front of her father, who was also not a public-office holder.

“Maryam Nawaz was targeted as a retaliation,” she recalled.

She said there was a contradiction in the words and deeds of Imran Khan, who had been telling lies to the nation for the past four years and delivering similar speeches.

The minister said today the people of Pakistan were forced to pay expensive electricity and gas bills due to sheer bad governance of the PTI government.

The present government having representation of all the federating units, would make difficult decisions for the people’s betterment and economic revival, she added.

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