LAHORE: In response to rights activist and legal expert Asma Jahangir's statement against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its Chairman Imran Khan after the party rejected her name for the post of caretaker prime minister, spokesperson Shafqat Mahmood has said, “there is nothing personal against Asma Jahangir, but she just not fit the criterion to be caretaker Prime Minister.”
Chairperson Imran Khan had earlier said Asma Jahangir was not acceptable to his party as the caretaker prime minister because of her views on the Supreme Court and her closeness to the PPP.
PTI had laid down three necessary preconditions before somebody could be considered for the important post of caretaker prime minister during the election period, the spokesperson said.
The preconditions demand:
- The person nominated should be completely neutral.
- The person nominated should respect national institutions particularly the judiciary.
- The person nominated should have the necessary administrative experience to run the machinery of the state for the caretaker period and particularly able to ensure a free and fair election.
According to the spokesperson, “Asma Jahangir does not fit any of the above three criterion. She has frequently attacked Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the past and continues to do so.”
“As a citizen in a democracy she is free to hold any views,” said the party spokesman, “but for someone required to conduct a free and fair election, Jahangir is clearly biased and does not fit the bill.”
The spokesperson further added: “Asma Jahangir clearly has little respect for the superior judiciary as a number of her statements attacking the courts testify. On this criterion too, she does not fit the bill to be caretaker prime minister.”
The spokesperson considered her lack of administrative experience as another hurdle.
Since elections are just round the corner, the probable names for a caretaker prime minister are under discussion.
PTI strategic meeting
PTI's leaders gathered at the PTI central secretariat in Islamabad on Tuesday evening for a political strategy committee (PSC) meeting under the chairmanship of party chief Imran Khan.
The meeting reviewed the prevalent political situation in the country and other party’s contacts with other likeminded political forces for possible alliance and seat-adjustments for the upcoming elections.
ECP should be reconstituted
PTI on Tuesday called for reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and expressed its concerns over the failure of the ECP to implement Supreme Court’s order for conducting delimitations and voters’ verification in Karachi.
Expressing its full confidence in the chief election commissioner, the meeting voiced its concerns over the poor performance of the ECP in implementation of the apex court orders as well as checking the misuse of state resources by federal and Punjab governments. The meeting said that the four members of the ECP appointed by the provincial governments should be appointed afresh and only non-partisan individuals should be appointed to overlook the polls.
The committee observed that despite several letters written and evidence produced to the CEC about the misuse of taxpayers’ money for election campaigns by federal and provincial governments, the ECP has yet to take any action to bring this practice to an end.
The committee also discussed the ‘jobs-for-votes policy’ of the federal and provincial governments and stated that despite ECP’s banning of new inductions, job were being doled out to the people with notifications being made in back-dates.
The PSC said that the government and its institutions should have taken all necessary steps to create conducive environment for holding free, fair and transparent general elections in the country.
The PTI meeting reiterated its demand for resignation of President Asif Zardari, stating that being the co-chairman of the PPP.
The party argued that Zardari could not do justice with his role of overseeing the general elections as the president while still being party co-chairman, hence, his stay in the presidency would put the election process under a cloud.
About possible electoral alliances with other political parties, the PSC reiterated its stance that the PTI was ready to talk with those political parties which are not part of federal or provincial governments.
PTI President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed the committee on the political contacts made with different political parties in this regard.
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