LAHORE: For the first time, Pakistani opposition leader Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan Monday hinted that he would return to the National Assembly be part of the consultative process of an interim set-up for general elections later this year. Following Khan’s ousting as prime minister in a vote of no confidence in April last year, all 131 PTI members of the National Assembly resigned. However, the NA president has yet to accept their resignations and called on all PTI lawmakers to verify whether their resignations are “genuine and voluntary”.
Speaking to reporters at his residence here on Monday, Khan said: “If we don’t return to the National Assembly, the PML-N-led coalition government will form the interim establishment (after the end of his term in August) in consultation with hand-picked opposition leader Raja Riaz. We are not letting that happen.
It is the first time that Khan has spoken on his return to the National Assembly since his ousting as prime minister.
Khan also said President Arif Alvi will soon ask Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to secure a vote of confidence from the National Assembly.
“We will test Shehbaz Cherif. He will have sleepless nights because we are in contact with PML-N deputies. He will struggle to prove the majority at home,” he said.
On the other hand, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said the federal coalition had demanded figures from the lower house if the president asked Shehbaz to take a vote of confidence.
The Punjab Assembly in Pakistan has already been dissolved by Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi of the PTI-PMLQ on Khan’s insistence.
Khan said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would also be dissolved this week to push the federal coalition to announce the snap polls.
“If the federal government does not agree on instant ballots, elections will be held in Punjab and KP provinces after 90 days,” he said.

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