Imran Khan announces election campaign from Saturday

Imran Khan announces election campaign from Saturday


Imran Khan announces election campaign from Saturday

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan addressed the public on Wednesday and said the election campaign would be started form Saturday (March 4) in which the PTI workers would arrange corner meetings in all districts.

The PTI’s supremo said he would suggest solutions to the problems and issues currently faced by the country.

He added the incumbent federal government lodged 74 cases against him in its efforts for making him irrelevant in the political landscape, while on the contrary, the cases of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the NAB and FIA did not proceed legally.

After the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the elections within the 90 days, the former premier said he wanted to congratulate the whole court on behalf of the whole nation while mentioning the Supreme Court upheld the law and constitution with its decision.

He added previously, justice was not being given properly and it led to the debt-ridden condition of the country.

Talking about the presence of the “mafia” in the country, PTI’s chief added this group violated all laws in the country because they instead of elections, became rulers through “auction”. The former premier alleged that the “mafia” pardoned off its Rs1100 billion through changes in legislation.

The former premier mentioned it was clear in the constitution that polls would be held within 90 days after the assemblies’ dissolution. He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz bribed the Quetta bench and the situation was not the same today as the nation stood with its judiciary.

Talking about the law minister’s statement, he said his opinion was shameful because the PML-N did not like the honest judges but there would be no excuse for not holding an election after the verdict of the Supreme Court.

PTI’s supremo assured the apex court of his party’s complete support because he wanted Pakistan to work as per the constitution. He said nobody would pressurize the judiciary now as the youth were active on social media. 

Mentioning the arrests of PTI leaders, he said he would not forget the inhuman treatment meted out to Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati, while saying there was a painful story of Arshad Sharif’s death. The PTI’s chief said he himself was targeted with bullets and despite this 74 cases were lodged against him and the terrorism law was used with impunity in the country.

He said he was in his house and the PTI workers were protesting outside the Election Commission office and he was nominated in the terrorism case.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan suspended the court arrest drive of the party after the Supreme Court ordered general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

In a tweet, the former premier welcomed the judgement of the apex court, saying: “It was responsibility of SC to uphold Constitution & they have valiantly done that through their judgement today”. He said the ruling was an assertion of the rule of law in Pakistan.

“We are suspending our Jail Bharo movement & moving forward with election campaigns in KP & Punjab,” he concluded.

The court arrest movement was launched on Feb 22 by Imran Khan-led party against the violation of fundamental rights and worsening economic situation. The movement began in Lahore where Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Azam Swati and other PTI leaders voluntarily surrendered themselves before the authorities. The drive was later expanded to other cities, including Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Peshawar. 

SC Ruling

Earlier in the day, the apex court directed the authorities concerned to hold the general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Mandokhail, announced the verdict on the suo motu notice with a split decision of 3-2. Justice Shah and Justice Mandokhail wrote dissenting notes as they raised objections to the very admissibility of the case. 

Previously, the case was being heard by the nine-member bench but it split on Monday into a five-judge bench after four judges – Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Yahyah Afridi and Justice Athar Minallah - recused themselves from hearing the case.

The assemblies were dissolved by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in January to seek fresh elections in the provinces. After the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and governors of both provinces failed to give a date for the elections, President Arif Alvi unilaterally announced that elections would be held in Punjab and KP on April 9 as time was running out.

The apex court declared the president's move to unilaterally announce date for elections in KP null and void, saying the provincial assembly was dissolved by Governor Ghulam Ali Khan and he was responsible for giving the date. However, the top court upheld the president's notification of elections in Punjab as the provincial assembly was dissolved there without the consent of the governor.

If it was impossible to hold elections in Punjab on April 9, the president and the ECP should change the schedule with consultation, ruled the top court. It said the KP governor deviated from his constitutional responsiblity by not annoucing a date for the elections. The apex court directed the governor to announce a date for elections as soon as possible.

It ruled that Section 57 of the Election Act 217 empowered the president to announce a date for elections if the assembly was not dissolved by the governor. It said the polls should be held within constitutional timeframe. The apex court has also directed the federal and provincial institutions to assist the ECP in the election process.