ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday once again called for resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and made three demands – fresh elections, dissolution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and accountability of those who rigged the last general polls.

Though Imran, during his packed press conference at a local hotel, could not bring anything new on record regarding the alleged massive rigging in the general elections 2013, his demand for the prime minister’s resignation resonated vehemently.

“On August 14, we will come to Islamabad to lay the foundation of democracy and transparent elections,” Khan said, but made it clear that his party did not want to derail democracy through the protest march.

He contended they had to take this step after they could not get justice from any quarter, including the Supreme Court, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and election tribunals even after a lapse of 14 months. “I assure you democracy will not derail, but monarchy of Sharifs will end,” he said.

He appealed to the nation to join the march and claimed it would be the biggest-ever protest in the history of Pakistan.

The PTI chairman again warned the government that his party would not end the protest till acceptance of their demands. “Ahead of Azadi march, I want to clear that my demands are fresh elections under a new Election Commission, dissolution of the present ECP and accountability of those involved in the massive rigging of the last general elections,” he said, adding transparent elections could not be held in Pakistan without the accountability of those who rigged the last elections. However, Khan could not answer how fresh elections would be transparent without introducing electoral reforms in the present system. He only said, “I will answer it on August 14.”

“I will disclose in the next press conference on August 11 how the 2013 elections were rigged and who were involved in this massive rigging,” he said.

He said the government had a rigged mandate that was planned and termed it the biggest robbery in the history of Pakistan. “Is this democracy to invoke Article 245,” he said, adding the government was trying to hide behind the army. “We are not upset over the invocation of Article 245 as the army would protect us in Islamabad during the march,” he said.

The PTI chief again made it clear that the time for any backdoor diplomacy was over and no one could stop them from holding the long march. “I want to tell you the entire Pakistan would be sealed on my house arrest,” he asserted and warned the Punjab police against any misadventure.

He said PTI’s only (initial) demand was verification of election results of four NA constituencies, but it was never met.

“We have come to the conclusion after investigation of 14 months that the worst rigging was committed in the history of Pakistan in the 2013 elections.”

Khan questioned how PML-N which bagged 6.8 million votes in the general elections of 2013 got more than 14 million votes after five years.

He said growth rate in Punjab remained low during the last five years. “Tell me what their performance was. It was the worst rigging in the history of Pakistan while the judiciary and the Election Commission of Pakistan were also involved in it,” he said.

Khan said the election tribunals disposed of 400 petitions on technical grounds though a massive rigging was found in all cases.

Quoting a report of FAFEN (Free and Fair Election Network), he said the results were affected due to rejected votes in 35 constituencies as their number was more than the margin of victory. He claimed 973,649 votes were rejected in the 2013 elections while in 2008 900,000 votes were rejected. In 93 constituencies, polling schemes were changed after announcement of the election schedule, he said and added UNDP data entry operators were not allowed to work after the victory speech of Nawaz Sharif.

Quoting the report, he said 17,000 irregularities were committed in the last general elections.

Responding to the questions of reporters, he said Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) of Mahmood Achakzai should decide either to support democracy or monarchy. He said PTI would not be involved in any violence if erupted during the long march.

Khan said PTI would not stop the long march on the directions of the army chief as was done by Nawaz Sharif in 2009.

Responding to another question, he did not rule out any alliance with Dr Tahirul Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and said both the parties could form an alliance any moment.

Later, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi gave various examples of irregularities committed in the last elections. He also blamed the judiciary for delaying justice to PTI candidates. “We will oppose any move against democracy and will not tolerate dictatorship,” he made it clear.