Imran Khan to Protest if General Elections are not Held in 90 Days

In March 2022, opposition political parties initiated a no-confidence motion in the parliament against then-Prime Minister Imran Khan. The voting was held on April 10, 2022, and it passed with 174 votes against Prime Minister Imran Khan, making him the first Prime Minister in the history of Pakistan to be voted out of office. Subsequently, he left his office, and Mian Shehbaz Sharif became Prime Minister of Pakistan. 

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The opposition’s no-confidence vote against Imran Khan was due to his failure to deliver on his promises, rising inflation rates, and economic pressures. The opposition parties accused Imran Khan of being unable to manage Pakistan’s economy and resolve the challenges faced by the people of Pakistan.

The no-confidence vote against Imran Khan had magnificent implications for the country's political future. This no-confidence motion created political instability, which undermined public confidence in the electoral process and created chaos and unrest. 

Soon after Imran Khan lost his position as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) became major political allies. Chaudhary Pervez Ilahi then became Chief Minister of Punjab by gaining the majority of votes in elections. A motion of no-confidence was also initiated in the house against him, but this time the motion failed and Chaudhary Pervez Ilahi continued his office. 

Since Imran Khan’s removal as Prime Minister in April 2022, he has been demanding immediate polls. He dissolved two provincial assemblies in Pakistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. On January 18, 2023, Imran dissolved the KPK Assembly, and on January 15, 2023, Pervez Ilahi dissolved the Punjab Assembly. 

According to various news sources, the dissolution of both assemblies was a political tactic used by Imran Khan. Imran Khan and his ally viewed the dissolution of two of the four assemblies as forcing the current Prime Minister, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, to announce immediate general elections. According to Pakistan's constitution, in the current situation, elections must be held no later than October 14, 2023. The Prime Minister, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, has stated that the next general elections in Pakistan will be held on time, which means after August 2023. On Saturday, former Prime Minister Imran Khan gave a warning to conduct general elections within 90 days; otherwise, he would call for a dharna and come out on the roads. 

On the other hand, there are very few chances of conducting elections within 90 days. There are many reasons behind this idea, such as political instability, polarization, and ramping up violent attacks in various parts of Pakistan. Besides political rivalries and tactics, there are concerns about the cost of holding general elections. Holding general elections is a costly affair, and as Pakistan is currently facing an economic crisis, it is a difficult task to conduct polls anytime soon. 

The current political picture in Pakistan is that the government is making excuses to delay general elections. And Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Leader Imran Khan is insisting to conduct elections within 90 days, as Khan is confident that he will come to power again. He had won several by-elections, led big protests, and even escaped an assassination attempt. His message of fighting corruption and political dynasties, together with his appeal to religious symbolism, has always won him big support, especially from the youth.

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