Can talk to govt if it is ready for fresh polls: Imran

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday said that he was willing to hold a dialogue with the incumbent government if it was ready to hold fresh elections. He made these remarks in an interview with journalist Kamran Khan on Dunya News.
Responding to a question regarding the feasibility to hold elections, Imran said: “The country is facing extraordinary circumstances […] in this time we need to think about what decisions to take.” He said that his life and death were in Pakistan, hence, his interest was in the country’s improvement. “I’m always ready to talk if they want to talk about free and fair elections.”
Imran said that he had warned the “powers that be” of an economic “tailspin” in the aftermath of political instability following his ouster as he expressed fears of Pakistan approaching a “default-like situation”. Answering a question regarding the precarious economic conditions in the country, the PTI chief said that economic stability in the country won’t arrive before political stability. The only way out of this situation was fresh elections, he pointed out, recalling that before the no-confidence move he and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had warned the establishment that the “fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin” which could not be handled by the incumbent government came to power.
And, he said, the government failed to stabilise the economy because of which the markets panicked. “Pakistan is going toward a serious default which is why I keep saying that we need fresh elections,” Imran reiterated. He said that the economic fallout of the floods will come in winter. “Tell me […] Do they have a solution? Exports are falling, loans are rising, remittances are falling […] your capacity to give loans is shrinking and at the same time, IMF (International Monetary Fund) is saying power bills will become more expensive.”
The PTI chief then went on to ask: “Those who brought these people after removing our government, I want to ask […] were they thinking of Pakistan? Everyone knows the history of these two families.” And such a situation calls for all the Pakistanis to be troubled, he said, cautioning that the situation was “getting out of hand”. Imran also slammed the government for its “fascism”, saying that the atrocities on PTI in the last few months had no example. “They even blocked the telecast of our telethon yesterday. They threatened cable operators and then stopped them from showing [it].”
But, he contended that despite all these measures, “my support is just increasing”. “If I want to, I can call people to the streets today,” the ex-premier said, adding that he didn’t because of the difficulties in the country today. Firing broadsides at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Imran admitted that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan’s appointment was his “biggest mistake”. “They [establishment] became the umpire and presented this option and gave a guarantee he will be the right man,” he recalled. “But the ECP fully tried to make us lose in the [Punjab] by-elections.”