USMAN CHEEMA

ISLAMABAD  - The ruling PML-N Tuesday finally responded to the PTI’s Chief Imran Khan’s allegation of 35 ‘punctures’ stitched by Najam Sethi and said that PML-N is not the beneficiary of these stitches even if Imran’s theory is accepted.

A joint press conference was held by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for State of Information Technology Anusha Rehman and Chairman Privatization Commission Muhammad Zubair.

Ahsan Iqbal said that since long Imran Khan is accusing that election on 35 seats was maneuvered but he has not provided any proof of it so far. Finally the government itself decided to investigate into this matter and has produced a data of 35 seats across the country where PTI candidates lost with a narrow margin.

Anusha Rehman said on the occasion that Imran is giving an impression that PML-N is the beneficiary of these so-called punctures but the situation is contrary to his claims.

She quoted Imran Khan saying that there was a conspiracy as a result of which 35 NA seats were gifted to PML-N. In these 35 seats, the difference between the winner and runner up is less than the rejected votes and, therefore, it is assumed, had these votes not been rejected, PTI would have gained and won these 35 seats.

She responded to this allegation, “Perhaps the PTI chief is missing the main point: There are only six seats in which PTI was a runner up. So even if we concede that all the rejected votes in these six constituencies will go to PTI, it still just gets six more seats. So what is this myth of 35 punctures? The PML-N won just 12 of these 35 seats that Imran Khan is speaking of; yet the way these so-called punctures are being presented makes it look like that PML-N has somehow been ‘gifted’ all 35 seats through a well planned conspiracy”.

Also there are only 2 seats out of these 35 where PTI is runner up against PML-N so at best PML-N would have lost 2 seats vs. PTI, she said. A very important fact is that according to Imran Khan, these 35 punctures were the gift from Najam Sethi who managed to get 35 seats as a gift to PML-N. The point to remember is that out of these 35 seats, only 15 relate to Punjab, KPK 5, FATA 3, Sindh 5 and Baluchistan 7. How can Punjab caretaker chief minister manage not only 15 Punjab related seats but also the other seat of other provinces.

Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion said that the ongoing sit-ins in the federal capital inflicted losses of about Rs 1000 billion to the national economy and advised the PTI Chairman to end the protest for the benefit of the whole country.

He said that it was high time that Imran put an end to the sit-in and play his role for the relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected people of the country and more than a million IDPs.

The minister also highlighted a widespread perception that if the government comes out of this crisis it will be more proud.