Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said his party’s senior leadership made the decision to take part in the presidential polls after mutual consultation.
He said this on Monday in the Express News programme ‘To The Point’.
Imran lamented that the presidential elections had already become controversial. “We could have registered our protest by boycotting it; but then we could not hope to stop the government from getting their candidate elected. So we decided not to leave the field open for them.”
He said he had not decided to field a candidate to find favour with Nawaz Sharif, adding that time would decide whether the PTI would ever forge an alliance with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) or not.
Imran blamed the Supreme Court for the alleged rigging in the May 11 polls, saying that the apex court had played a role in the whole affair.
He said he did not personally know Chief Justice iftikhar Chaudhry. “It is a deplorable fact that in the recent general election wholesale rigging took place – with the help of the SC and returning officers,” he added.
He said his party only wanted investigation of votes at four constituencies, “in spite of the fact that Chaudhry Nisar Ali has said his party has no objection to the scrutiny of votes of even 20 constituencies.”
“Dr. Tahir ul Qadri was right when he said the whole system had deteriorated and positive change won’t come no matter how many elections you hold,” Imran acknowledged.
He said the PTI did not join Qadri’s long march only because it had pinned its hopes on the judiciary. “We believed that the judiciary had become totally independent. We thought it would help bring forward a new leadership by ensuring free and fair elections under its supervision.” However, Imran added, Qadri turned out to be right.
Imran said his party had accepted the results of the elections and now wanted scrutiny at only four constituencies so that such rigging might be avoided in future. He said if his claim about rigging proved wrong, he would publicly apologise.
The PTI chairman said that after the May 12 incident, in which Muttahidi Qaumi Movement (MQM) was allegedly implicated for killing of dozens of political workers, all parties had agreed not to make any alliance with the MQM until it abandoned its politics of violence. He claimed that he would never go to the MQM’s headquarters ‘Nine-Zero’ like Nawaz League.
Imran said: “We have had three All Parties Conferences (APC) on terrorism. But none of the recommendations of the conferences have ever been adopted.”
He demanded that before the APC, a meeting of the selected people be arranged, “Where we may tell the truth and know what types of [secret] agreements we have made with the US, so that we may come up with a strategy accordingly.”
“I am ready to go to the US and speak to their think tanks and media. I will tell them that drone attacks are counterproductive and not in the best interest of both the countries,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.