Pakistan News

Imran vows to win by-polls if de-seated

Imran vows to win by-polls if de-seated

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has challenged the PML-N to de-seat his party MNAs and vowed to return to the House in the subsequent bye-election.

“If the PML-N wants to accept PTI MNAs resignations, it should do it instead of acting hypocritically by supporting the party in private meetings and opposing in TV talk shows,” he told a news conference on Thursday.

To questions that former ISI chief Gen Shuja Pasha had instigated the PTI to hold a sit-in in Islamabad, Mr Khan stated that if he had been in Nawaz Sharif’s shoes, he would have immediately called an inquiry that why an army general was conspiring against a government.

“I will quit politics, if proved that I took any money for the 126-day sit-in,” he said, adding that if the government would constitute an inquiry, the Asghar Khan case should also be opened in the Supreme Court, wherein it was stated in an affidavit that the ISI had funded the leaders of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Nawaz Sharif one of them.

Conveniently forgetting his claim that 2015 will be an election year, Mr Khan said the nation should prepare for local body elections, which were as important as provincial and national assemblies’ elections. He asked the provincial governments not to delay elections on the pretext of floods.

Mr Khan called the constitution of the judicial commission and its eventual decision a success of his party. He praised commission’s report asking party supporters and well-wishers to stop slandering the commission and the chief justice of Pakistan on social media.

He said he was initially disappointed by the report but eventually realised that the commission had done a great job by identifying lapses committed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He said the ECP officials, responsible for the lapses and mismanagement, must be brought to book.

Mr Khan said he had written to the chief election commissioner, which had been released to the media. He said he hoped the next elections would be held in a free and fair manner as well as without any fear. He also cited India, where a commission was constituted on rigging charges, which led to holding free and fair elections afterwards and strengthening of democracy.

Mr Khan said the PML-N and returning officers had jointly played the 2013 elections match. He said the report identified some 40 lapses in the elections, saying the report was not in favour of the PML-N as it did not absolve it from rigging charges.

The PTI chief said that he had met a delegation of traders and assured them that the PTI would stand by them during their strikes on August 1 and 5 against new taxes. He suggested that the government reform the Federal Board of Revenue and grant it autonomy. He claimed that only Pakistanis had bought property worth Rs430 billion in Dubai. He said the government should get taxes from the rich and avoid squeezing poor masses through price-hike and raising utilities’ tariffs.

Stating that he was re-organising his party, Mr Khan said the PTI would play its strong role of opposition in the national and provincial assemblies

About apprehensions of party workers about those joining the party, Mr Khan said that he had called a meeting of old and new members of the party in Islamabad on Sunday and he would give them his vision. He said that he would also be looking to hold intra-party elections soon. About allegations of nepotism in award of party tickets in the local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said that he had called a report in this regard.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2015

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