LAHORE - PML-N candidate for NA-122, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, says Imran Khan’s participation in the election campaign for his candidate Aleem Khan has established beyond any doubt that the PTI nominee stands no future.

Talking to The Nation on Sunday night, he said he was contesting against Imran, not Aleem, and would win the electoral race with a thumping majority for a third time.

The PTI, he said, was bound to face a humiliating defeat in the by-election after which it would allege rigging.

“I would accept whatever the result”, said the former National Assembly speaker, who was de-seated both as a member of the lower house of parliament and the custodian of the house after an election tribunal found irregularities in the election on his seat.

“Aleem is neither here nor there. Everyone knows his reputation in society. I don’t want even to repeat what opinion the people have of him,” he added.

Asked about his strong points compared to his rival, Ayaz said the PML-N government was winning the war against terrorism; it has succeeded in bringing in $46billion Chinese investment in Pakistan which would change the future of Pakistan. Also, he said, the PML-N government was completing a number of projects which would benefit the common man.

About his weak points in the prevailing situation, he said: “None”.

He expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said first the ECP gave the PML-N incomplete voter lists and then failed to take any action on complaints of oversized posters of the PTI candidate.

Questioned if he was sure that the October 11 by-election would be free and fair, the former speaker said: “(It) should be”.

He said the ECP should train its staff for free and fair elections.

He complained that he was “punished” by the election tribunal for the inability and inefficiency of the ECP.

“How can you call your de-seating as punishment when you were the beneficiary of the alleged inability of the ECP”, The Nation argued.

Ayaz recalled that the election tribunal had accepted the ECP’s report about the votes, but had raised objection against the NADRA’s presentation, which was subsequently revised.

“Was I responsible for the controversial votes?” he asked.

He said the tribunal should have added the controversial votes to the tallies of the PML-N and PTI candidates according to the ratio of votes polled by the two.

About his alleged role in the sidelining of the Aitchison College principal, he said it was totally a baseless propaganda.

“My grandson was not admitted to the school because he did not get adequate marks. That’s all.”

He said the principal was a “liar” who was making misstatements to cover up his irregularities. Ayaz claimed that he was not in a position to influence Syed Babar Ali or Dr Pervaiz Hasan (the board members who took the decision against the principal).

The former speaker also addressed a corner meeting at Katcha Ferozepur Road.

He vehemently criticised the election tribunal judge who de-seated him. The judge mentioned in the order even his personal integrity, which raised suspicions about the need to do so. Perhaps the judge doubted his own honesty, he said.

He alleged that the PTI chairman wanted to dislodge the government to be able to come to power. In case the PML-N government was removed, the Chinese investment of $46 billion would be at risk, said Ayaz. And in case the Chinese investment was affected, no other country would like to make any investment in Pakistan, the PML-N leader said.