ISLAMABAD - Showing his resolve that the PTI Azadi March would be held on the Independence Day in Islamabad, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan Tuesday made fresh demands, asking for the audit of entire election results of the last general elections, saying it was the only way to keep democracy on track.
The two fresh demands of the PTI chairman might have created unrest in the government circles as previously he was demanding only verification of election results of four constituencies of the National Assembly (NA).
The PTI chief, addressing a press conference after chairing a core committee meeting of the party at his residence in Bani Gala, demanded, for the first time, audit of the entire election results of the 2013 general elections and said the issue of verification of four NA constituencies was now over. “If entire audit of 8 million votes of Afghan presidential elections could be held after one of the candidates levelled allegations of rigging, why is it not possible in Pakistan?” he questioned.
Imran Khan, giving the reason for demanding audit of the entire election results alleged three officials of Nadra were running a cell in the basement of COMSATS University where the election results of four NA constituencies were being changed. “We have credible information of that,” he said. Later, PTI Central Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari disclosed the names of the three Nadra officials – Col (r) Khaild, Zeeshan Butt and Junaid. However, a spokesman for COMSATS University clarified that the university had rented out one of its buildings to Nadra and the allegations had nothing to do with the university administration.
The PTI chairman also said midterm polls were the only way to keep democracy on the track. But he asserted accountability of those involved in the rigging of the last elections must be held before the next general elections, adding such culprits should be tried for high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Khan appreciated PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s statement that heavens would not fall if the government got the election results of four NA constituencies verified. “At least Zardari is not a hypocrite like Sharifs and his performance was far better than the present government,” he remarked.
Imran Khan was determined that his party would hold Azadi March on the Independence Day at all cost and added the government was trying to sabotage it by declaring independence and defence celebrations on the same day and at same venue. “We will come out on August 14 for the real independence as the government has no mandate,” Imran said, adding he would announce his further line of action on that day and would produce proofs of rigging there.
He alleged the government wanted a PTI-Army clash. “But we have a past record of peaceful and disciplined protests and if the government plans to hold the ceremony in the morning on August 14, we will arrange the march in the evening,” Khan said. “I want to make it clear that PTI will not clash with any one on that day,” he said.
“The announcement of the government to hold troops parade in the capital on August 14 is tantamount to provide an opportunity to those who want terrorist activities against the Army,” Khan said, adding it had been revealed at a briefing that there could be a reaction of terrorists after four to six weeks of the military operation. “The government is endangering the lives of the troops,” he said.
Khan warned the Punjab police to behave like Pakistani police during the PTI long march. “Peaceful protest is our democratic right because the government did not get the election results of four constituencies verified,” he said. He questioned why the government sacked the Nadra chief and said this was because the government pressurised him to manage favourable results of NA-118.
“A government coming to power through rigging does not care for the issues of the public at large. It does not care for merit,” the PTI chief said. He deplored the water and power minister was praying for rain and stating that loadshedding hours could not be reduced.
Khan alleged: “Sharifs are promoting family politics through Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and nephew Abid Sher Ali. “Why did State Minister of Water and Power Abid Sher Ali not resign over the closure of Nandipur Power Project despite the fact that the government has spent extra 100 million dollars to make it functional? It is not understood why the federal and Punjab governments spent Rs 10 billion on media advertisements during the last one year. Why did Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif not resign after the Model Town incident?” he said and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as well for mishandling the issue of IDPs.
He alleged the federal government was not giving proper share to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to enable it to look after the IDPs.
The PTI chief alleged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was an accomplice of the ruling party in the election rigging and held ECP’s Sher Afgan responsible for the polls fraud. Sher Afgan was giving wrong statements of typographical mistakes in the courts, he said. Replying to a question about the proposal of Leader of the Opposition in NA Syed Khursheed Shah for his reconciliation with Nawaz Sharif, Khan said Shah should first decide whether he was in opposition or government.
He declined to comment upon a question about the allegations of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar against him. He also condemned the Islamic countries and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) on the issue of killings of Palestinians during air strikes of Israel in Gaza.