ISLAMABAD - Emboldened by the court decision disqualifying former foreign minister Khawaja Asif for life, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Thursday announced to file a petition against Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for allegedly holding an Iqama — a foreign work permit.

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A meeting of the senior party leadership approved filing the petition against the federal interior minister for holding the Iqama, said PTI Secretary Information Fawad Chaudhry in a statement.

“Through the petition to be filed before the Islamabad High Court, the party would seek disqualification of Iqbal under article 62 (1) (f) for concealing facts,” he said.

“After Nawaz Sharif and Khawaja Asif, now its Ahsan Iqbal’s turn to stand in the dock of law,” he said.

In 2017, Iqbal had admitted to holding an Iqama and on a social media account, he had said, “I worked in Madina Munawarah in 2004-06, afterwards (I) retained Iqama without receiving any compensation for frequent travel; hence no illegal act.” He had also said that he had declared his Iqama in his nomination papers in 2013.

Apparently jubilant over its April 29 Lahore rally, PTI chief Imran Khan also advised the participants of the meeting held in Bani Gala that they should start behaving like a government-in-waiting, a PTI leader said.

The meeting was held to review the party’s overall performance in Lahore rally in particular and country’s political situation, party’s internal affairs and strategy for the upcoming general election in particular.

“After the Lahore rally and presentation of historic 11-point reforms programme, we believe that the PTI is indeed government-in-waiting and Khan has said so,” said the senior PTI leader, who attended the meeting, wishing not to be named.

A statement issued by the party’s central media department said, “The PTI is all set for the upcoming general election. The eleven points of Chairman PTI will pave the way to the bright future of the country.” It added that in the meeting, PTI leaders were directed to disseminate party’s eleven point plan across length and breadth of the country and mobilize the masses for the next general election.  The meeting came down hard on former premier Nawaz Sharif saying he was frenzied after the PTI’s “landmark rally of 29th April”. 

“Nawaz Sharif’s narrative after his disqualification is absurd and ambiguous. At the same time, it is an attempt to mislead the people about his corruption worth Rs300 billion. The PML-N has deteriorated country’s administrative, economic and political infrastructure and now it is the need of the hour to unshackle the country from the mire of crisis,” the statement quoted Khan as saying.  The PTI leadership also strongly condemned the “brazen attacks” on state institutions by the Sharif family and stressed the need to conclude the cases against the Sharifs in the accountability court without further delay.

The meeting also condemned the budget for the financial year 2018-19 presented by the PML-N government, hour-long load-shedding and below the belt comments of senior PML-N leaders against PTI’s women activists.