LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will benefit from the services of ex-civil/military officers and judges to run its new interim setup which will remain in office till the conduct and conclusion of fresh intra-party polls, insiders told The Nation yesterday.

Imran Khan’s party is already being run under an interim setup since May 2015 as Khan dissolved its organisation following the recommendations of Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed Commission report which proposed fresh intra-party polls after finding out that the key leaders were involved in buying offices in the first party polls held in March 2013.

“Khan and the party’s Chief Election Commissioner Tasnim Noorani who have decided to remove the incumbent interim setup believe there should be a completely neutral caretaker setup which would hold the fresh intra-party polls in a bid to make it acceptable to all,” said the insiders.

“For this purpose, they considered to select such party sympathisers as are ex-civil/military officers and judges to lead the new caretaker setup,” they added.

However, Justice (r) Wajih whose commission’s findings pressed the party leadership to hold fresh polls said, “Appointing caretakers from ex-cadres of civil, military and judiciary to run the caretaker setup to hold the fresh intra-party polls will not bring any change.”

“The most important step to hold the fresh intra-party polls is to cleanse the voter lists of bogus voters. The other measure to conduct fair elections is that the process must be held through balloting at the polling stations and not through electronic vote,” proposed Wajih.

The outspoken Wajih whose party membership was suspended by the PTI chairman said, “It has come to my knowledge that the party’s election commission has decided to hold fresh polls following electronic vote, which means the exercise of May 2013 will be repeated. My commission found corrupt practices in the last polls on part of Pervez Khattak, Aleem Khan and Nadir Akmal Leghari and others for buying their way into the party offices.”

“In the last party polls there were 7.2 million party members that included personal servants and disciples of peers and landlords and they could never vote against the wishes of their masters. The election should be held according to the old list after cleansing it of fake members (voters),” he suggested.

“Those who become the party members as a result of fresh membership drive after the announcement of polls should not be registered as voters for a certain time period. The party constitution which I had overseen during its preparation restricts a new member from voting and allows the persons who have been the party men for at least 120 days before the announcement date of intra-party polls,” he added.

PTI insiders said, “Some leaders met Imran Khan after the local government polls and advised him not to hold fresh elections as it will bring more rift and let the party run through the incumbent interim setup. Khan, refusing to accept their advice, said the workers would elect the people to run the party.”

PTI workers are waiting for Chief Election Commissioner Tasnim Noorani who is out of the country to unveil the caretaker arrangement and announce the schedule of fresh intra-party polls.

Ijaz Chaudhry who won the slot of the Punjab president in the 2013 party polls, when contacted, said, “I am not at liberty to utter any word on the interim setup and fresh polls because of the party policy. It is the prerogative of Tasnim to unveil the details about the new interim arrangement and the polls. What I can say is fresh membership drive will start as soon as Tasnim makes an announcement about the party elections.”