Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), declared on Friday that he is a politician who is “open for dialogue” and “ready to talk” after spending months behind bars.
“I’m a politician, and I’ve been saying that for the last 19 months,” Khan told reporters in the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, where he is being held on many charges.
In the run-up to the general elections, the PTI chief, who was removed in a motion of no confidence in April 2022, has been dealing with a string of defeats.
After Khan was imprisoned in May of last year, the PTI experienced a leadership exodus and accusations were made against its surviving employees.
Subsequently, this month, the party’s electoral symbol—a significant motivator for voters—was removed, and the PTI-Nazriati party, with which it was attempting to form an alliance, likewise abandoned its pledge.
However, as the PTI struggles, its main competitors, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), have already started their national campaigns and sent out tickets for both national and local seats.
The PPP and the PML-N are vying for central government seats. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari asserted with confidence that the PTI is no longer in the race because its candidates will be competing on their own, making it only a contest between the two parties.
Khan mentioned the current political climate in the nation and stated that efforts were underway to establish a “controlled parliament”.
“My acceptance of a weak government was my biggest error. I should have held fresh elections in place of a weak administration. Being a member of the opposition would be preferable to a weak coalition administration.
In response to a query, the PTI founder stated that the nation’s economic issues could not be resolved by a weak government or a hung parliament.
“Only a powerful government can implement reforms and improvements,” he continued.
Khan’s aspirations of running in the general elections scheduled for February 8 were dashed when the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected his petition earlier this week.