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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said on Monday that his party would file a reference against the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sikander Sultan Raja, as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had shown “incompetence” by not completing delimitation of constituencies in time due to which early elections were delayed.

Talking to a select group of journalists at his Bani Gala residence, the ex-premier revealed that the incumbent CEC’s name was proposed by ‘establishment’ after a deadlock between the then government and the opposition.

At the same time, Imran Khan termed his party’s government’s decision of filing a reference against Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa a mistake, saying “we should not have unnecessarily confronted the judiciary which I realised later”.

He said that the reference against Justice Isa was sent by the Law Ministry, adding he had no personal enmity with anyone in the judiciary.

About allegations of Toshakhana gifts, he said that the record of whatever gifts he had bought from Toshakhana was available and if anyone had evidence that he had committed corruption, they should bring it forward.

He shared that a foreign president had sent a gift to his Bani Gala residence that he had then deposited in Toshakhana.

At PTI's Karachi rally, Imran Khan calls for holding elections

He had bought back the gift at 50 per cent of its price, he said, and added: “My gift, my choice. If I wanted to make money, I would have made millions by declaring my house as a camp office but I did not do”.

He said: “I thank Allah, the Almighty that during my three and a half years in power, all they have got against me is this Toshakhana gift scandal, which is already on record.”

Rejecting the reports of asking ‘establishment’ for mediation between his government and the opposition in wake of the no-confidence motion against him, the ex-premier reiterated that the establishment had given him three options, of which he had chosen early elections.

Imran Khan was quoted as saying that he was staying quiet as the country needs a strong and united army, adding that a strong army was the guarantor of Pakistan’s security, adding he would not say anything that could hurt the country.

He said that his trip to Russia was not ‘solo’ as he had spoken to Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa prior to his trip during which the army chief said he should go ahead with the visit.

He also reportedly clarified that he had not met anyone besides a select group of TV anchors and party members on his last night in office – putting to rest the reports of a meeting with the army chief and DG ISI, the night he left the PM House.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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