ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on Wednesday demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet step down due to their failure to resolve the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.
“The prime minister and his cabinet should resign and there should be fresh elections,” PTI Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari said at a press conference in Islamabad, adding that no one from the government had taken responsibility for the crisis.
“The minister [of petroleum] should have resigned, or the PM should have fired him,” she added.
“This is a ghost government,” Mazari said.
“The prime minister and federal ministers are enjoying perks and privileges, and are not doing anything else.”
She expressed concern over an electricity crisis, which she believed was in the making. “There will be no electricity in the coming days as furnace oil reserves are running empty,” she added.
Mazari said the incumbent government had abdicated its authority during the last few months, therefore, should no longer remain in power.
“It is the ISPR which is issuing statements on the war on terror, but it is the responsibility of the information ministry,” she pointed out.
“The government has done nothing regarding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), except conducting meetings while the army has played its role,” she added.
Taking credit for the reduction in petroleum prices, she said, “It was because of our sit-in that the government reduced prices.”
Resignation from assemblies
Responding to a question regarding acceptance of PTI resignations from the Sindh Assembly, Mazari said, “Resignations in Karachi have been accepted, and it seems resignations in Punjab and the National Assembly would be accepted soon.”
“We will not return to assemblies unless our demand of the judicial commission is met, and until there is investigation into rigging of the 2013 general elections,” she added.
“The government had made a commitment to constitute a judicial commission, but backtracked on it.”
The PTI ended its protest campaign and 126-day long sit-in keeping in view the security and political situation after the Peshawar attack.
“The PTI has supported the government in the war against terrorism, while putting aside differences,” she added.
When asked about the status of dialogue with the government, Mazari said talks were moving forward and there was flexibility in the government’s response.
“The government has shown flexibility because it knows really well that the PTI has street power and can put it to a standstill,” the PTI information secretary said.
Responding to another question, she said “PTI had not called off its sit-in on the orders of the army.”
“We had neither come out on the streets, nor called off our sit-in based on directions from the army,” she clarified.
Talking about her party’s support in the setting up of military courts in the country, she said PTI did not want to damage the national consensus.
When asked about PTI’s plan about participation in the upcoming Senate elections, Mazari said the party has yet to take a decision in this regard.
She said the issue would be taken up by the core committee once PTI chief Imran Khan returns.
Saudi Arabia plan
In response to a question about the presence of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri in Saudi Arabia at the same time as Imran Khan, Mazari said it was mere a coincidence and nothing more.
Imran has gone for Umrah with his wife Reham Khan, and Qureshi has gone separately with his family.
“We are a political party, why would we meet [Dr Qadri] behind closed doors?,” she questioned.