After much ado on the ‘35 punctures’ claim by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party’s key leader Arif Alvi has tendered an apology admitting the remarks were based on rumours and hearsay.
Alvi took to social media on Thursday to refute and withdraw the statement and oft-quoted by the PTI chairman. And while Imran himself didn't apologise in explicit terms, he did admit on Wednesday that the remarks made were ‘of a political nature.’
Read: Aiding rigging: Imran hits out at Najam Sethi
“We should have checked the facts before making such an accusation,” he said adding “We should not have believed on false accusations,” said Alvi.
It is time to apologise for 35 punctures. Many rumours regarding source of information & content were afloat and I believed some of them— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) July 2, 2015
The move was welcomed by Najam Sethi, then Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, whom Imran directly accused of the wrongdoing.
On May 12, 2014, the PTI chairman had strongly criticised Sethi for his alleged role in rigging the 2013 general elections.
“Next time the caretaker chief minister should not be like the one who mended 35 punctures,” he said repeating his allegations that Sethi had helped the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) rig the elections by misusing his position as the Punjab chief minister.
Read: Leaked conversation: 'Good, govt deserves it,' Imran allegedly told Alvi after PTV attack
Imran said the PML-N after coming to power rewarded Sethi by making him chairman of the PCB. He demanded Parliament introduce legislation to bar every member of an interim setup from assuming any government office for two years after serving as caretaker.
'No retreat from stance'
Talking to media, PTI leader Jahangir Tarin categorically said the party had not withdrawn its stance regarding rigging in the elections.
"We believe that even more than 35 punctures were used for rigging," he asserted.
Tarin went on to say that Alvi apologising on the statement was his personal opinion and the party had nothing to do with it.
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