ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has decided to contest by-elections on 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly that fell vacant after the de-notification of PTI legislators over defection, senior PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Sunday.
He made this announcement while briefing the media after the PTI’s core committee meeting in Bani Gala as PTI Chairman Imran Khan arrived at his Islamabad residence following his weeks-long stay in Peshawar.
The Election Commission of Pakistan last month said the by-elections on the 20 vacant seats would be held on July 17.
Talking to the media, Qureshi expressed apprehension that the Punjab government would employ its resources to influence the by-polls.
“The ECP has a big responsibility here and if they fail to ensure transparency in elections, then a big question mark will be raised on general elections which are to be held soon,” the PTI leader said.
He said PTI Chairman Imran Khan would hold a meeting at 1pm tomorrow to deliberate on the allocation of tickets.
The ex-foreign minister said his party had also decided that none of its MNAs would appear before the National Assembly speaker, who has summoned some PTI members tomorrow to verify their resignations.
Qureshi said their resignations had already been approved and notified by then speaker Qasim Khan Suri. “Hence, there is no need to appear before Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf again.”
‘Strong reaction’ if Imran arrested
Qureshi said Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had expressed his intention to arrest the leader of the most popular party in the country, adding that “there could be no bigger political blunder than this”.
He warned of a strong reaction to any such action by the government.
“You have to give your reaction immediately if you receive any report through social media or other media that this imported government has taken any such step,” he told the public.
He also called out the government for raising prices of petrol and edibles beyond the purchasing power of the masses.
He also questioned the “silence” of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on the government’s talks with the TTP, saying the PTI government was lambasted by the opposition for such an approach.
The PTI leader also said the party would get cases registered against police officers who roughed up and tortured PTI activists on May 25.
He said women parliamentarians would also stage a protest in Islamabad or Rawalpindi against the government.
Qureshi said the party would also mobilise overseas Pakistanis to lodge protests in their respective cities. “We are also preparing content and overseas Pakistanis will share it with elected representatives abroad because no civilised society allows such interference.”
PTI to challenge delimitations
The PTI leader said the party had also decided in principle to challenge the new delimitations by the ECP wherein voters’ addresses had been changed for no reason.
He asked the masses and the party representatives to check their data by sending a text message to 8300 and in case of change in constituency, the same must be reported to the party and the ECP for rectification.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed said Sunday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) core committee members have decided not to appear before the National Assembly (NA) Speaker on June 6.
Sheikh Rasheed, while talking to journalists today, said that it has been decided not to accept the incumbent government and NA speaker at any cost. The decision was taken in the PTI core committee session today that the lawmakers will not appear before the NA speaker.
He said that a strategy was formulated in case of Imran Khans arrest. He warned the government of severe consequences if it decides to arrest Imran Khan.
Election is the only solution to end the crisis in the country. No talks will be held except the announcement of elections.
We are mulling over the date of the long march, however, no final decision is taken yet.Regarding the inflation, the AML chief said that inflation will rise up to Rs10 to Rs20 on each product ahead of budget.
Another wave of inflation will hit the country on June 15. He said that he wishes loadshedding for the houses of the prime minister and ministers. He alleged that the rulers are dissolving their corruption cases.
Bani Gala security up
The administration put the security around Bani Gala on high alert in the anticipation of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s arrival on Sunday from Peshawar after 10 days.
The administration has sprung into action with the PTI chief’s expected arrival to his residence in Bani Gala as security has been increased all around the area.
According to reports, the former prime minister will reach Bani Gala in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s helicopter.
There are also reports that the PTI chief would also summon party’s core committee meeting and take important decisions.
According to Islamabad police spokesperson, the administration had not been informed by Imran’s team about his arrival today. However, the police put in place special security arrangements, he said adding that the police were not provided with the list mentioning people present inside the house.
The spokesperson said that the district magistrate had imposed Section 144 in Islamabad and all kinds of gatherings were banned. He, however, said that police officials were ready to deal with any kind of illegal activity.
Sources revealed that strict checking was being carried out of all the vehicles entering Bani Gala.