- PTI Chairman says no point in holding talks with govt as they will not announce elections
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Saturday that he will unveil the schedule for his party’s upcoming long march toward Islamabad next week, Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference, Imran said he will announce the date next week either on "Thursday or Friday."
The former premier emphasized that his party’s long march will remain peaceful. "We just want elections in the country," he said, adding that corrupt elements had been imposed on people.
The PTI chief said that the incumbent government will use all tactics to stop PTI’s democratic right to protest peacefully.
Imran's statement regarding his party’s much-awaited long march comes a day after he was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the Toshakhana disqualification reference.
The ECP has disqualified the PTI chief under Article 63(1)(p), which says that an individual is, “for the time being, disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or of a provincial assembly under any law for the time being in force”.
The former PM has been de-seated as a member of the NA and by-polls will now be held on the seat vacated following his disqualification.
The ECP said that the former PM submitted a false affidavit and was found to be involved in corrupt practices. The verdict says the respondent had “intentionally and deliberately” violated the provisions contained [in] sections 137, 167, and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017".
As per the verdict, criminal proceedings will be initiated against Imran for misdeclaration. The ECP also ruled that office is directed to initiate legal proceedings and to take follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act, 2017.
During his address today, Imran criticized the ECP chairman for the verdict against him, saying that he "could not have made the decision himself," adding that someone forced him into making the decision.
When asked if he will hold negotiations with the government over the issue of the next elections, he said: "There is no point in holding talks as they will not announce elections."
Last week, Imran said that the election date was not announced by the government in a "few more days," he will call the party's long march toward Islamabad, warning that he would not delay it beyond October.
PTI leader said he wanted to give the government a few more days for the sake of the country. "I repeat that they still have time to announce elections, and if they don’t, I will begin my march, and my preparations are almost complete," Imran Khan said.
In a related development on Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) rejected the government’s request to bar Imran Khan from creating a perceived law and order situation through a planned long march.
The government had filed a contempt petition against Imran for disregarding the orders of the top court passed on May 25 on a petition filed by the Islamabad High Court Bar Association.
The SC had allowed the PTI to hold its Azadi March protest near Peshawar Mor between the H-9 and G-9 area of Islamabad.
During the hearing, the CJP said that the government can deal with the situation in accordance with the law, saying that steps should be taken wherever there are threats in cities.
“You should request the court to stop the crowd when people gather. There is no crowd right now,” Justice Bandial said.