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Pakistan elections: Imran Khan rules out coalition with PML-N, PPP

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad: Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday dismissed the idea of forming a coalition government with any of the main political parties in Pakistan and termed them as the “biggest money launderers” being brought to power.

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The 71-year-old Khan, also the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, was speaking with journalists at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Khan and many of his party colleagues are lodged in jail for many months in connection with convictions in multiple cases.

In the February 8 general elections, independent candidates, mostly backed by Khan's PTI, won 101 seats in the 266-member National Assembly, another former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's party (PML-N) won 75 seats and former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's party (PPP) won 54 seats.

A coalition government appears inevitable as no single party has got the majority in the National Assembly and Pakistan stares at a hung Parliament. Negotiations between Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have been going on for two days. Independents became an easy target.

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Khan said there would be no talk with the PML-N, the PPP, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) but expressed willingness to contact all other parties and groups.

“There can be no alliance with PML-N, PPP, and MQM,” he said, adding that he had directed PTI Information Secretary Raouf Hasan to bring together all parties except the three parties.

Khan also alleged that elections were rigged and said it would increase instability in the country and negatively impact the economy. He kept saying that free and transparent elections were the only solution. “Such electoral fraud never happened in the history of the country.” “Attempts are being made to bring down the money laundering syndicate to power. The Sharif family is the biggest money launderer of the country,” he alleged and added that the country's biggest problem was dollars and alleged that the Sharif family would send dollars abroad.

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“Those who have been brought [to rule] are the biggest money launderers,” Khan was quoted as alleging by Geo News portal.

The PTI founder further claimed that both Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz lost the elections and said, “We are the first to challenge the election results. We will also approach the Supreme Court against the election results.” The former cricketer turned politician said he knew his party had won the elections when Nawaz Sharif postponed his press conference.

Meanwhile, when asked if his party was forming a government in the province or at the centre, Khan said that his party would first challenge the election results.

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Quoting sources, Geo News further reported that Khan gave instructions to the PTI regarding the KP's CM and that the former ruling party will issue a notification in this regard soon.

The PTI party had not agreed on a name for the prime minister's post and will consider it later, he said.

Khan nominated former federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur as his party's candidate for the post of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's chief minister.

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The PTI secured 84 seats in the KP Assembly and is in a pole position to form the government.

Earlier in the day, the Lahore High Court dismissed more than 30 petitions filed by PTI-party-backed independent candidates who challenged the “sham victory” of top PML-N leaders, including Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

The Lahore High Court asked the defeated candidates to move to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for redressal of their grievances, including alleged rigging of votes in the February 8 general elections.

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