Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the Constitutional way to send a government packing is to table a no-confidence motion in the Parliament and dared the Opposition to do so.
“If the Opposition seeks to move a no-confidence motion, they should come and do so in the assemblies,” he said, criticising the call for mass resignations from assemblies by Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
His remarks came during a conversation with journalists in the city in which he touched upon several issues, including the current political climate in the country, Pakistan’s economy, corruption, and the aftermath of coronavirus.
Speaking further of the resignations, which the Opposition says will be handed in for both provincial as well as national assemblies, the prime minister said: “If they hand in resignations, we will hold by-elections on those seat and will emerge even stronger.”
“I do not understand what they aim to do,” he added.
PM Imran Khan said that democracy will only work in the country if a national dialogue is held between the government and the Opposition, adding that he has never backed down from the idea.
“The best place for political dialogue is the Parliament,” the prime minister said. “I had said from the beginning that I was ready to answer all questions in the Parliament.”
He went on to say that whenever the government talks about dialogue, the Opposition starts demanding the closure of corruption cases against their leaders.
“Cases were filed against many Opposition leaders during their own tenures,” the premier revealed. “Ishaq Dar, Nawaz Sharif’s children and his son-in-law all fled from the country in the past.”
He reiterated that the government is ready to negotiate with the Opposition on all matters except for corruption cases, which are unforgivable, and the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
When asked about the achievements of the PTI-led government over the years, PM Imran Khan said that PTI’s biggest victory was to save the country from bankruptcy.
“We had been historically facing a deficit in every sector. With massive debts and corruption, previous governments had left the country in dire straits. It was a big challenge for us to steer the country away from the crisis,” the prime minister said.
He said that Pakistan’s economy, through his government’s concerted efforts, is finally progressing towards betterment.
“Over the last decade, governments in power could only recover Rs6 billion in revenue. We, on the other hand, have retrieved Rs207 billion from Punjab alone within 27 months,” he said.
The prime minister also talked about various development projects and different health-related initiatives in the country.