LAHORE: With polling for the second phase of local government elections slated to commence on Thursday (today), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) provincial organiser Chaudhry Sarwar said the PTI’s rivals would be in for a surprise if the elections were conducted in a fair, peaceful and transparent manner.
In a media briefing organised on Wednesday, Sarwar discussed the party’s electoral campaign in various districts. He also announced its reorganisation next month.
The party has confronted internal fissures over the Justice (r) Wajihud Din report regarding intraparty elections. PTI chief Imran Khan had dissolved all party offices in May under pressure from within to abide by the report’s findings. An interim set up put in place by Khan under which the former governor was made the party’s provincial organiser towards the end of May.
The party has emerged as a democratic organisation, Sarwar said. He said all intraparty decisions were being arrived at through democratic means. He said the party was becoming popular nationwide due to its policies. “The PTI is emerging as the chain that binds the federating units together,” he said.
Commenting on the polls, he said the ruling party had resorted to not just electoral malpractice but also political victimisation. He alleged that false cases were being registered against those who had supported the PTI in the first phase of the elections. “The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been using state apparatus to victimise our candidates and activists,” Sarwar said.
Sarwar has been at the forefront of the party’s campaign in the province. He said he had led the PTI’s campaign in 10 districts, addressed 100 rallies, jalsas and corner meetings. Sarwar said the party had performed in accordance with expectations during the first phase of the polls.
Speaking on campaigning for the second phase of the elections, he said the party had managed to reach every district after overcoming the hurdles placed by the government in its way. He commended party workers and candidates who continued to campaign despite the machinations of the PML-N. “The PML-N will be defeated in every free and fair election,” Sarwar said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2015.