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Imran Khan demands Zardari's resigantion, seeks fresh elections in Pak

Lahore: Cashing in on the political turmoil generated by the Pakistan Supreme Court's order to arrest the Prime Minister, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan today demanded the immediate formation of a caretaker government and the holding of polls on time.

Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, presented a seven-point charter of demands to the government during a news conference here.

AFP

Khan asked his party workers to be prepared for any eventuality, saying he could call on them to join protests at any time. "The government should immediately announce the election schedule as we don't want any collusion between the Pakistan People's Party and the PML-N in forming the caretaker set-up," he demanded.

"The election should be held on time and there should be no delay of any kind... We will not allow a national government of any kind to be formed," he said.

The PPP-led government is set to complete its term in mid-March and the next general election is expected to be held by May.

Khan further demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari, who also heads the PPP, should immediately resign. He alleged free and fair polls could not be held if Zardari remained in the presidency.

The interim administration should be formed after consulting all political parties, Khan said.

He alleged that the ruling PPP and main opposition PML-N had a "secret understanding" and the government was not investigating graft charges against leaders of both parties.

Khan said the Election Commission should be reconstituted as his party had reservations about some members of the panel. The general election would not be fair if the poll panel is not revamped, he said.

Speaking hours after the apex court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf over allegations of corruption in power projects, Khan said the court's order should be implemented.

The apex court issued its verdict hours after cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri marched into Islamabad with tens of thousands of supporters to push the government into carrying out electoral reforms.

Khan said his party might have considered joining Qadri's protest if he had consulted it. Khan said his party was watching the situation closely and might ask its workers to take to the streets if his charter of demands was not accepted.

PTI