ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Tuesday announced to take action against its those members who are contesting July 25 election as independent candidates after the refusal of party tickets — a decision that has been seen by many members as intimidation tactics without having any legal consequences.

A spokesperson of PTI in an official announcement told media that PTI had decided to take action against those members who “violated discipline” by deciding to contest election as independents.

PTI said that such names would be forwarded to a two-member disciplinary committee, comprising former secretary information PTI Naeemul Haq and PTI’s Additional Secretary General Arshad Dad for further investigation and necessary action.

The announcement comes after many disgruntled PTI leaders have announced to contest independently after refusal of party tickets to them. The PTI spokesperson said that all party members had already submitted affidavits with the party stating that they would not contest elections as independent candidates in case the party did not issue them tickets. “Therefore, this is not only violation of the party discipline but also of affidavit and Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution (regarding Sadiq and Ameen),” the statement reads.

The disciplinary committee will forward its report to party chairman Imran Khan and the action would be started immediately, the spokesperson added.

A number of PTI members have been protesting over the refusal of party tickets and have alleged that the party had issued tickets to electable and old status quo politicians while ignoring the ideological workers.

Many of the PTI workers had staged a protest sit-in in front of the residence of party chief in Bani Gala, Islamabad while Imran Khan has recently declared that the award of tickets was the most unrewarding and difficult times in his entire life. Rifts have emerged within the senior leadership of the party over the award of tickets for the National Assembly and provincial assembly seats.

PTI had sought affidavits from the ticket applicants that they would not contest election in independent capacity in case of refusal of tickets— a move that raises many questions whether a political party can deprive candidates of their right to contest election.

The matter is now before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that will decide its legality. The commission on last Monday had summoned PTI chairman Imran Khan on July 4 to seek his reply while hearing an application against submission of assurance affidavits.

The petition had been filed by a PTI ticket hopeful. During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel informed the court that the PTI had sought assurance affidavits from applicants of party tickets which stated that they will not leave the party or contest as independent candidates in case they were not given tickets.