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Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 469, 14 December 2022

Imran Khan to reveal decisive date for the dissolution of the two assemblies at Lahore Rally



Why this revelation ramps up PTI’s plans for the future

Bhoomika Sesharaj

On 14 December, PTI leader Hammad Azhar said that the PTI has arranged to stage coincident rallies at all the divisional headquarters on 17 December where Imran Khan would address those gathered through a broadcast. He said that the main rally of the party is planned to happen at Liberty Chowk in Lahore on 17 December and that the rest of the country would “participate” in the rally through a video link. PTI’s local and provincial leadership met with Imran Khan on 13 December to put a pin to the plan and make arrangements for the “D-day” of the rallies, where Senior Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal of the party said that the allies were “on the same page” regarding the dissolution of the two provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This comes as a meeting has been called under the chairmanship of Imran Khan to decide a final date for the dissolution of the two assemblies which would be announced at the Lahore rally. Iqbal said that the assemblies “should be dissolved” before 20 December so that snap polls could be held before Ramazan. He said that Imran Khan is a “reality” and that the country’s politics “revolve around him,” making him indispensable to the PDM’s condemnation of his policies. He said that the snap polls would “end” political and economic imbalances in Pakistan and that no international organisation was “ready to trust the incompetent rulers.” He was also seen admitting that Punjab Minister Parvez Elahi has “already” sent over a summary of the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly to Imran Khan.

Divergence of opinion from PTI’s parliamentarians
While the PTI’s continuous efforts to challenge the PDM’s leadership have ceded well within its substructure, the party’s parliamentarians and other allies allegedly remain divided over the plan to dissolve the two assemblies. This comes as public claims of the allies and other leaders of the party have pointed to the imbalance in Imran Khan’s decision of dissolution, with important provincial ministers saying that the dissolution “does not make electoral and political sense.” The minister said that the PTI leadership needs to advocate realistic policies and that the party’s leaders object to Imran Khan’s plan because of his lack of consultation with the party’s leaders before he announced the date in the Rawalpindi rally and the flailing expansion of this plan to hold any benefits in the future. The minister’s remarks entailed that the PTI’s plan would make little sense keeping in mind the prevailing socio-political situation of the country and that the sustenance of the constituencies will prove to be difficult if the plan moves further ahead and the PTI contests elections as an opposition party.  He said, “Funds have just started flowing into our constituencies and quitting at this stage is a sure recipe for an electoral disaster.” (Ahmad Fraz Khan, “‘Final’ dissolution date at Lahore rally: Imran,” Dawn, 14 December 2022,  Imran Adnan, “PTI to reveal date of assemblies’ dissolution at Liberty Chowk rally,” The Express Tribune, 14 December 2022)

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