PESHAWAR: Just minutes after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Election Commission issued a press statement de-notifying all of the party's elected officials in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa of their party office, the party's chairman announced a volte face.
On Tuesday evening, The Express Tribune received a notification from the PTI's central election commission which stated that the offices of Secretary General (held by K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak), President K-P (held by Speaker K-P assembly Asad Qaiser), General Secretary K-P (held by provincial minister Shaukat Yousufzai), President south region (held by a minister in the provincial cabinet Ali Amin), President Peshawar region (held by a minister in the provincial cabinet Atif Khan), stood vacated with immediate effect.
The notification added that a new schedule for party elections will be announced after Ramazan, and listed temporary posts for the interim period.
It named Additional secretary general to serve as acting secretary general. Senior Vice President K-P Khayal Zaman to serve as acting President K-P, Deputy General Secretay K-P Azmat Ali Khan to serve as acting General Secretary K-P, Senior Vice President South Region K-P Mohammad Zahoor Shakir to serve as acting President South, while Senior Vice President Peshawar Mohammad Asim Khan to serve as acting President Peshawar.
Soon after that release, a second release was received from the PTI's central media cell in Islamabad bearing a statement from the party chairman Imran Khan. It declared that the earlier release was "simply recommendations of the Central Election Commission."
It added that the CEC's "recommendations" will be reviewed by the party's central executive committee before a decision is arrived at.
"Till the meeting of the Central Executive Committee, the recommendations of the Central Election Commission will not come into effect."
While talking to The Express Tribune, the PTI's central election commissioner Hamid Khan said that that they were the body that decided matters pertaining to the party's constitution.
"The Central Election Commison is the body to make decisions to de-notify party members, we have made the decision" said Khan who's signature is on the PTI CEC notification. He added that anybody not complying to their position is going against the party constitution.
However, PTI Information Secretary Shireen Mazari told The Express Tribune that the the CEC was not in a position to enforce such a decision. "The chairman has issued his statement, the CEC cannot make such decisions."
Earlier, party chairman Imran Khan in a meeting with the Central Executive Committee (CEC) had asked Chief Minister Khattak to relinquish his party position as the PTI manifesto did not allow for anyone to hold two portfolios.
Khattak though had dismissed the reports, claiming they were baseless, and that members of the CEC had shown their support for him. The PTI's central media cell had also corroborated Khattak's statement.
However, Deputy General Secretary PTI and Media Adviser to Imran Khan, Imran Ismail had confirmed to The Express Tribune that the developments were true.
“The media reports in connection to the CEC are correct,” Ismail said.