Pakistan's populist leader 'sure' of winning elections

Imran Khan says his party will not form coalition government with either center-left PPP or right-wing PML-N

Pakistan's populist leader 'sure' of winning elections

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistan needs a “strong and credible government” in the wake of forthcoming general elections to steer the South Asian nuclear state out of simmering political and economic predicaments, the country’s populist leader Imran Khan said.

“The status-quo parties have disappointed the nation in last 70 years. They (parties) have enjoyed power several times one after other but they failed to deliver. That’s why, the nation is eagerly looking for a new option this time”, Khan, a former cricket hero, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

He was referring to the two mainstream political parties -- center-left Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of three times premier Nawaz Sharif -- which have ruled the country four and three times respectively since 1970.

His right-wing Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) scents victory in July 25 elections. The party seems to emerge as the majority group in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkha (KP) province, where it ruled from 2013 to 2018.

It, however, appears to be neck-to-neck with PML-N in Punjab, the country’s largest province and the political powerbase. Analysts see PTI’s emergence as a populist party in Punjab, which has been a stronghold of PML(N).

“Only a strong government can pull the country out of simmering problems ranging from economy to foreign policy and from law and order to development,” Khan said in response to a question about his course of action in case of a hung parliament on July 25.

“I am sure, Insha’Allah (God willing), we will be in a position to form the government single handedly or with the help of a few coalition partners. But let me make it clear, those coalition partners will neither be PML(N) nor PPP,” Khan, who had won the only cricket world cup for Pakistan in 1992, maintained.

“These two parties have looted the country. Instead of forming the government with their help, I will prefer to sit on opposition benches,” he added.

Rejecting concerns raised by several political parties -- including PML-N and PPP -- over fairness of upcoming elections, Khan said the two parties had sensed their defeat. “That’s why they were trying to create a controversy about fairness as a preemptive step,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2018, 13:35