Lahore -

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday vowed to cooperate with incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif on terrorism and other major challenges and his party gave the election commission three days to verify and recount votes in at least four sample constituencies where polls were reported to be rigged.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recount votes in four constituencies after authenticating the votes through thumb impression verification from Nadra, Imran demanded in a video message from his hospital bed to a press conference organised by his party at a local hotel on Wednesday.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief said they suspect rigging on a much larger scale but this sample verification would be appropriate to determine if a larger vote recount and verification was needed. “We suspect rigging in (no less than) 25 constituencies but the election commission should at least hold recounting through thumb impression verification from Nadra in NA-57, 110, 122 and 125 to establish the credibility of the 2013 election results.”

Talking about his meeting with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, he said, “We have decided that despite major differences that we have, we will work together to resolve major national problems including terrorism... I laid a special emphasises on resolving the terrorism issue in talks with Nawaz Sharif, as without solving this problem the country cannot be put on the road to progress.”

Imran said, “Elections are over and we all as a nation want to move forward.” He said he wanted all politicians and the military to sit down together and find a solution to domestic terrorism, which has killed thousands of people. “We cannot ensure prosperity until we eliminate terrorism,” he said.

The PTI chief said they would form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and make the province a role model for rest of the country. At the Centre, he said, his party would play the role of a solid opposition, which was need of the hour.

Imran, who is laying up with a fractured spine after falling at a campaign rally, is credited with helping to inspire 60 per cent turnout at the polls, having galvanised the youth and urban middle class in particular. His party polled third place, behind the PML-N and the PPPP, as a result of May 11 elections the credibility of which has been grossly questioned after loads of videos came out showing rigging in different parts of the country.

The PTI voters and supporters are staging protests in different parts of the country, particularly in Lahore and Karachi, against the alleged massive rigging in the polls. Imran said that PTI hadn’t held any protest against the rigging so far; in fact, it is the disenchanted young supporters who are protesting on their own.

But, he warned, the party would officially join these protests if their demands were not fulfilled. “Recounting without finger prints verification will be a useless exercise. Nadra has all the sources to verify the voters’ lists... We will submit an application today... We have calculated that it will take two days to complete the recount with fingerprints at four constituencies.”

Speaking later at the press conference, PTI Punjab chapter president Ijaz Chaudhary and general secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid warned that party would announce its protest plan if the election commission failed to meet the their demands in three days.

Imran in his message said the voters, who turned up on the polling stations in large numbers, would be demoralised and many of them would not participate in the future elections believing their vote didn’t matter, if the ECP failed to clear their suspicions.

“This is the right of the people and will ensure the democratic process grows stronger,” he said. “We expect the ECP to fulfil its responsibility... These people who are protesting against alleged rigging…it is the ECP’s responsibility to satisfy them, otherwise these people will lose their faith on the democratic process and will not come out to vote in the future.”