- Riaz says polls can occur within 3 months, in November, or 2 years.
- Democratic requirements entails timely polls, politician says.
- “We will agree on a name,” Riaz says on finalising interim premier.
ISLAMABAD: Raja Riaz Ahmed, the opposition leader in the National Assembly (NA), said he foresees two potential scenarios for upcoming general elections, The News reported.
The polls, he shared during an interview with a private TV channel, may occur either within three months, in November of this year, or be delayed for up to two years.
The senior politician emphasised that holding elections in November would obstruct the country’s economic strengthening, asserting he doesn’t see the polls taking place until the nation achieves financial stability.
In Riaz’s view, abiding by the democratic requirements entails timely polls, a stance he supports. However, he expressed concern about the existing state of the country’s economy, terming it serious and perilous.
The politician supported the country’s economic fortification before conducting elections. Raja acknowledged the history of frequent polls in the past and anticipated such electoral processes to continue in the future.
Raja said he could not divulge his support or opposition to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s name as the interim prime minister. However, he added both he and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would reach a consensus on finalising a name for the caretaker prime minister slot.
“I have a very good working relationship with Shehbaz Sharif sahib. We will agree on a name,” Riaz said.
The senior politico added that it was not a matter of one’s stubbornness that he wanted the premier to agree to any name he suggested.
He might also agree to PM Shehbaz’s suggestion if an appropriate name for the slot is shared.
When asked about the ruling coalition government’s views on banning PTI in the aftermath of the violent events of May 9, Riaz said: “Because of the [disrespect to] martyrs, I say that this party (PTI) should be banned.”
He said the PTI had managed to do what India could not. When asked if action should be taken under Article 6 (high treason) of the Constitution against the party’s leaders, he responded: “Definitely it should take place”.
Commenting on military trials of civilians, the politician said there is no harm in it, as those involved in the riots stepped into the army’s territory.
“Why did these people go into their (army’s) territory. If they went into their territory, then a case should proceed according to their domain as well. There is no harm in it”.
Speaking about PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s loyalty to party chief Imran Khan, Riaz said those who were sincere with Imran Khan were either in jail or had fled, while those who were still standing with him were not sincere.