LAHORE - Claiming that bigwigs belonging to the ruling party from northern Punjab are planning to switch over to Imran Khan, PTI political committee in-charge in northern Punjab Nawaz Gondal has remarked that midterm polls would become the demand of all the political parties soon.

Gondal who is a veteran politician apart from being a PTI leader who participated in major campaigns for democracy starting from Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD), expressed these remarks while talking to The Nation on Wednesday.

“We have launched the real popular movement in the political history of Pakistan under the banner of Azadi March after PPP founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, which would continue till achieving its targets,” he claimed.

He said that without electoral reforms no elections could send the real candidates to the assemblies, adding that biometric system should be introduced to control the foul play in the electoral process.

About the Azadi March, Gondal remarked, “We have been left with no other option as we failed to get remedy concerning injustices with us during 2013 polls and we never made any effort to derail the democracy.” While the political parties and groups which detach themselves from popular movements lose support among the masses, he added.

He added that the movement would certainly not have initiated if the ruling party had opened the four constituencies identified by the PTI for rigging probe; PML-N registered an FIR of Model Town tragedy; and the Chief Minister stepped down after the tragic incident.

The talks between the government and the PTI might take a positive turn if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had stepped down for the period of the rigging probe but unfortunately the ruling party was not serious in the negotiated solution of the issues, he further said.

Gondal observed that the current government was a civilian government but could not be called a democratic setup as its actions were not democratic.

Defining democracy, he remarked: “Democracy means complete democracy and there is no middle way as some naïve politicians say they prefer even half or limping democracy over dictatorship.”

Commenting over the PTI position in Northern Punjab, he claimed that bigwigs belonging to the ruling party from Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, Jhang, Khushab, Balwal, Chakwal and Mianwali were planning to switching sides.

About the criticism on PTI for taking old politicians into its wings, he remarked that there was no harm in taking those old faces into the party who had clean records.

Gondal claimed that his party, PTI, after gaining power would restrict the parliamentarians to only the lawmaking, while the developments tasks would be the duty of the local governments.

The PTI leader also claimed that people, in the rural towns of his region, had become so keen to inform themselves concerning the Azadi movement’s developments that they brought satellite dishes to watch the development on TV.

Replying to a query about the Javed Hashmi episode, Gondal said that Hashmi was his good friend and it would be better if he (Hashmi) expressed his concerns in the party meetings, being a part of Azadi drive.