Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government will hold by-elections on vacant seats if opposition lawmakers resign from the National Assembly. Talking to journalists in the federal capital, the Prime Minister reiterated that he would not give any NRO-like (national reconciliation ordinance) concession to corrupt opposition leaders and will hold by-elections on seats vacated by opposition lawmakers.

Imran Khan said that he will betray the country if he grants NRO to corrupt opposition leaders. “I will leave my post but will never betray the country by granting an NRO to opposition leaders,” he again made it clear.

The Premier once again ruled out a complete lockdown in the country in view of rising Covid-19 infections in the second coronavirus wave. He said: “Pakistan cannot afford a second lockdown as it will destroy our economy completely.”

Continuing his tirade against opposition parties, he said they are spreading the coronavirus by holding rallies. They are resorting to public meetings in order to hide their corruption, the prime minister maintained.

“Opposition is playing with the lives of people by holding rallies amid Covid second wave. The government can sit and talk with the opposition on every issue apart from the NRO matter. They [Opposition] will end their protest movement today if I accept their illegal demands,” said the prime minister.

Responding to a question, Imran Khan further said that the opposition wants a confrontation with the government, adding that the government will not create any hurdles in the way of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders, but warned strict action against violators of Covid-19 SOPs.

The prime minister said that his government’s “biggest mistake” was not going to the IMF immediately after getting elected. “In times of such a financial crisis, we should have immediately gone to the IMF,” he said. The premier also spoke about another mistake that his government made.

“The second biggest mistake was not initiating the process of institutional reforms,” he said.

Speaking over local bodies election, the PM said that his government will hold LG polls after Senate elections in March. “Local government polls were delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic, but the government will hold it after the Senate election in March next year,” added the Prime Minister.

No pressure to recognize Israel

Replying to another question, Prime Minister Khan said that there is no pressure on him to recognize Israel, adding that Pakistan has good relations with UAE and Saudi Arabia. He expressed regret over the delay in bringing reforms in all national institutions.

“A coalition comprising a few countries does not want to see a strong Pakistan,” PM Imran Khan reportedly said. “Whatever happened in Iraq, happened for the same reason. Iraq and Iran were made to fight each other in an attempt to break up the two nations,” he added.

PM Imran touched upon heightening tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, saying that efforts were being made “according to a plan” by a ‘source’ to weaken the two nations. He said that the same was being done to Pakistan.

“There is a source behind whatever is happening inside Pakistan,” said the prime minister, without alluding to what he meant. “Efforts are being made to create instability across the country.”