KARACHI - PTI Chairman Imran Khan has urged MQM to let people vote as per their wish saying that the NA-246 by-election will decide the future of the residents of the port city of Karachi.

Imran Khan was addressing a press conference at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) General Secretary Arif Alvi’s residence on Saturday. PTI Vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI candidate for NA-246 Imran Ismail, PTI Karachi President Ali Zaidi and other leaders were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, Ali Zaidi alleged that identity cards were being forcefully taken from the voters and residents were being intimidated into voting for Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He urged Rangers DG to take notice of such practice. The Rangers who would be guarding the polling had earlier called on the Election Commission to use biometric system for the voting in the aforesaid Karachi constituency.

PTI candidate Imran Ismail said MQM was running away from the by-polls by opposing the biometric system and looking for other lame excuses to boycott the by-polls. He said his party had identified at least four ghost polling stations in the constituency and one polling station was not a government education institute but an office of APMSO (MQM student wing). He said it was crucial for the staff conducting the election to be neutral.

Imran Khan in his address to media said the by-election in NA-246 was very important as Karachi had remained under the atmosphere of fear and terror for almost 25 years. Most of the people left city and settled abroad due to the poor law and order situation, he added.

He said PTI believes in tolerance and never projected the politics of arms and violence. His party will make efforts to win the by-polls, said Imran, adding that paramilitary Rangers should ensure on the polling day that no one is able to infuse fear on the voters.

“In the start of the PTI election campaign in constituency, party candidate and workers were attacked and I am here to congratulate PTI candidate Imran Ismail and others who have played a key role in eliminating fear from the atmosphere of the constituency,” Khan said.

To a question about biometric system, PTI chairman said Election Commission has declined to implement the biometric system but the CCTV cameras would be installed to monitor the polls. “We are hopeful that authorities would hold transparent polls but in case of the any incident of rigging or unfair practice, party would move its plea to Election commission of Pakistan.” To a question about the withdrawal of the JI candidate in favor of PTI, Imran said if Jamaat-i-Islami wants to play the match then it has every right to do so.

On the occasion, Imran Khan reiterated that formation of judicial commission is a victory for PTI, adding that party task force will furnish all the proofs of election rigging before the commission which includes video evidence. He said at least 21 parties have admitted that the 2013 general elections were rigged.

PERVAIZ BLASTS IMRAN FOR CRITICISING N-GOVT

INP adds: Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Pervaiz Rasheed has strongly reacted to the criticism and allegations of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan against his party.

In a statement issued in Islamabad on Saturday, Pervaiz said Imran was only engaged in criticism for criticism instead of doing any practical work in PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, where people were deprived of basic life enmities and forced to lead worst life as compared to people of any other province.

It merits mentioning here that addressing a press conference in Karachi, Imran had alleged that the ruling PML-N was only restricted to Punjab and therefore was not fielding a candidate in the Karachi by-election.

Responding to PTI chief’s allegations, Pervaiz said the prime minister's target was to bring peace in Karachi while Imran was chasing only one seat. He added that Imran was able to move freely in Karachi only because of the operation conducted by the PML-N government against criminal elements.  It was the PML-N's struggle that Imran was in Karachi, otherwise he would have been seeking a no objection certificate from the MQM before holding a rally in Karachi.