PTI will not go back to assembly: Imran

PTI chief says will not appear before the CEC; calls him a ‘dishonest’ and ‘biased’ person


Our Correspondent October 07, 2022
PTI chief and former premier Imran Khan outside the courtroom after his indictment hearing at the Islamabad High Court on Sept 22, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:

PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan on Thursday categorically stated that his party would not go back to the National Assembly and launched a diatribe against the chief election commissioner (CEC), saying he would not appear before him “under any circumstances” in the cases against him.

Last month, the Supreme Court had seconded the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) advice to the PTI as it urged the party to rejoin the parliament.

The top court was hearing a petition filed by the PTI challenging the IHC’s judgment where the court had termed the phased acceptance of party resignations by the National Assembly speaker as legal.

Lawmakers from the former ruling party had resigned en masse from the National Assembly on April 11, following the ouster of Imran as the premier through a no-confidence motion.

Talking to beat reporters in the federal capital, the PTI chairman while referring to the recent audio leaks said he was “grateful” to the government for reviving the issue of cipher.

Read more: Imran's interim bail plea in judge Zeba Chaudhry case approved

“It is clearly mentioned in the cipher that Imran Khan should be removed [from top office]. How come those who benefitted from the cipher can investigate it?” he asked.

Imran said the PTI would not go back to the National Assembly “under any circumstances”, adding that the incumbent regime was not democratic but “criminal”.

The PTI chairman challenged the government to hold “open hearing” of the Toshakhana reference.

The reference was filed against Imran by the coalition government, for "not sharing details" of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

Imran said the PTI would go for general elections in the country, adding that they would succeed in the by-polls “no matter what tactic the government employed to rig the ballot”.

The PTI chief vowed to come with “full strength” in the haqiqi azadi march (real freedom march), saying a “sea of people” would participate in it and that “nobody can stop”.

Imran alleged that the CEC was a “tool of political engineering”, adding that he carried out delimitation of constituencies in connivance with the PML-N.

The PTI chairman said he would not appear before the CEC “under any circumstances” and “feared of doing something” after which he is sent to “jail”.

He called the CEC a “dishonest” and “biased” person and said that he did want to see the “face of this running sore”.

He said the CEC should have ethically resigned after the audio leaks. “The audio leaks proved that they were collusion between the PML-N and the election commission.”

“Chief election commissioner played a central role in stopping the EVMs,” he added.

Imran warned of dire consequences if “fair” elections were not held in the country.

He said he was “100 per cent sure” that a plan was in offing to disqualify him.

The former premier said that a “big revolution” would strike Sindh during the elections and that the PPP will not be able to succeed in interior of the province. “The flood in Sindh has swept away the PPP,” he said.

Responding to a question, Imran said he was astounded to see the support of people after his ouster from the top office.

“I did not watch TV or [used] mobile phone after the no-confidence motion [succeeded] as it was a part of my training when I played cricket to not watch TV or read a newspaper after losing a match,” he said.

“Bushra Bibi showed me on her mobile how people were on the streets [in my favour whereas] there was a black out on TV. I was astonished to see the [support of] people on social media.”

Later, the ECP in a statement rejected the allegations hurled by the PTI chairman and termed them a “pile of lies”.

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