- PTI says polls without party chairman 'unacceptable'
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that fair elections in the country can take place without Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and hundreds of PTI members who are currently in jail for “unlawful activities”.
The interim prime minister said that in an interview to the Associated Press over the weekend.
However, he added that the rest of PTI people who are not facing charges for unlawful activities “will be running the political process, they will be participating in the elections.”
During the interview, Kakar dismissed any possibility of manipulation in elections results.
The current Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja was appointed by Imran Khan, he said. “Why would he turn in any sense of the word against him?”
In relation to arrangements for the polls, he said the government “will provide all the assistance, financial, security or other related requirements.”
“We are not pursuing anyone on a personal vendetta,” Kakar said. “But yes, we will ensure that the law is appropriate. Anyone, be it Imran Khan or any other politician who violates, in terms of their political behavior, the laws of the country, then the restoration of the law has to be ensured. We cannot equate that with … political discrimination.”
Answering a question, Kakar also criticised India for promoting itself as the world’s largest democracy, yet not allowing a democratic referendum in Kashmir.
He mentioned that regional leaders are contemplating convening a forum to deliberate on the necessary adjustments the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan would have to undertake before any nation takes “a huge step” of recognising their government.
PTI says polls without party chairman ‘unacceptable’
The statement from the interim prime minister irked Khan’s party as it raised strong concerns saying “polls conducted without Imran Khan or PTI will be considered non-constitutional, illegal, and unethical, which the public will never accept”.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the party claimed that Imran Khan is the country’s most popular leader and elections without his inclusion would remain controversial.
“Political leadership and parties with extraordinary popular support, when excluded from elections through artificial, non-democratic, and unconstitutional means, always lead to destructive consequences,” PTI said.
It may be noted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that the general elections to be held in last week of January 2024.
PTI chief Imran Khan is currently incarcerated at the Attock Jail under a cipher case that was registered under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
The case in question is related to the “misuse” of alleged contents of a diplomatic cipher, cited by ex-premier Imran as proof of the attempt to remove his government.
As per latest reports, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear on Monday a post-arrest bail plea filed by Khan in the cipher case.