ISLAMABAD–Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said he has accepted a poll-rigging commission’s findings of “irregularities” in PTI’s intra-party election, and that there should be no doubts that fresh intra-party polls will be conducted.
“Justice Wajihuddin has recommended that a caretaker setup be installed immediately after dissolution of all elected officials, but we maintain that till our party’s election commission comes up with a new schedule for polls, we cannot run under an interim setup,” said Khan while addressing media personnel on Wednesday.
Flanked by senior party members Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen and Shireen Mazari, Imran said until preparations for conducting an intra-party elections are complete, PTI cannot function in a “vacuum”.
A two-member election tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed had, on March 18, issued a detailed judgment recommending fresh intra-party polls due to serious irregularities in the election process earlier and called for the dissolution of all party offices at the organisational level.
Although the PTI claims the election tribunal had done its job and stood dissolved after completing its investigation and making recommendations, Justice Wajihuddin, in a surprising move, summoned Imran Khan on April 21 to explain why he had not complied with the tribunal’s earlier orders.
In his order, Wajihuddin had expressed concern over the PTI chairman’s decision to allow former office-bearers – some of whom have been accused of committing irregularities in the intra-party elections – to continue as caretakers until fresh elections are held.
While Imran did not appear before his own party’s election tribunal on April 21, he issued an official notification to dissolve the tribunal a few days later — on April 25.
The notification signed by the PTI chief said the tribunal formed by the party in 2013 to investigate “irregularities” in the intra-party elections stands dissolved “with effect from March 22”.
But in clear defiance of party orders, the election tribunal decided to continue holding meetings.
During today’s press conference, Imran Khan clarified that he could not appear before the tribunal because he could not go to Karachi at a time when the judicial commission, investigating the 2013 general election, was holding important hearings.
“I proposed a video conference with Justice Wajihuddin but he did not agree to that,” said Khan.
Khan also condemned the killing of Karachi University Assistant Professor Wahidur Rahman and rights activist Sabeen Mahmud.
He said an impartial operation to root out violent elements in Karachi was the need of the hour, adding that all political parties had unanimously agreed to that after the Peshawar school tragedy in December last year.
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