Imran Khan Trying to Avoid Contesting Elections, Pervaiz Rashid
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said on Sunday that an incomplete Election Commission could not hold elections and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s demand for resignation of its members was an excuse to avoid contesting the coming by-elections.
Talking to a TV channel, the minister alleged that Mr Khan was afraid of participating in by-elections for the assembly seats that had fallen vacant as a result of recent decisions of election tribunals.
He said the PTI chairman was exerting pressure on ECP members to resign, which was tantamount to a technical retreat from the by-election by making it impossible to hold them.
The PTI should take a legal course for removing the ECP members instead of threatening them, he said.
Mr Rasheed said the PML-N respected reservations of the PTI but organising demonstrations and insulting national institutions was not appropriate thing.
He recalled that the PTI had participated in local bodies elections in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and various parliamentary by-elections under the same ECP members.
He claimed that the PTI would lose by a big margin in the by-elections in the National Assembly constituencies NA-122 and NA-154 as Mr Khan had been defeated twice by PML-N candidates from the same area of Lahore in the 2002 and 2013 general elections. How could the candidate nominated by him win this time, he wondered.
He said the history of the Haripur by-elections would be repeated where the PTI had lost by over 47,000 votes.
The minister said the PTI had been provided an ample opportunity to prove before an inquiry commission its allegations against the PML-N of poll rigging but had failed to convince the judges.
The PTI had also failed to prove its allegations against former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and former caretaker chief minister of Punjab Najam Sethi and about printing of additional ballot papers from Urdu Bazaar in Lahore, he said.
He said both the parties had agreed to accept the inquiry commission’s report but the PTI was breaching the agreement by repeating the unproved allegations.
He said the PTI should shun politics of agitation and sits-in in view of the situation in the country. “We should concentrate on solving problems being confronted by the country,” he said.
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