ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has decided to postpone the second round of its anti-government march to the capital until after the announcement of the next federal budget, said one of its top office-bearers while interacting with the media on Sunday.
Last month, Khan asked his party workers and supporters to come to Islamabad and join him for a sit-in until the dissolution of assemblies and the announcement of fresh elections in the country.
His call was followed by a crackdown on his party leaders and workers in different Pakistani cities, though many of them managed to reach the capital after removing shipping containers placed to block various roads leading to the city.
Khan himself led a caravan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province before calling off the protest upon reaching the federal capital and asking the government to step down within six days. He held a meeting of his top party members in Islamabad on Sunday to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country.
“The core committee has decided to take the decision regarding the anti-inflation march after June 15,” the Express Tribune newspaper quoted PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi as saying.
Qureshi said the party had also agreed to participate in the by-elections in 20 provincial assembly constituencies in Punjab. These seats fell vacant last month after a group of dissident PTI lawmakers were disqualified by the election commission for switching loyalties and voting for the candidate of another party for the position of Punjab chief minister.
The PTI leader also criticized the government for mismanaging the economy, saying it was not sure how to deal with the financial challenges facing the country.
Qureshi maintained his party’s government had decided to reduce fuel and power rates despite pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He blamed the current administration for raising the prices of essential items while making the live of the average Pakistani difficult.
“The country’s economy is deteriorating,” he warned.