LAHORE - Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah yesterday supported PTI chief Imran Khan’s demand for resignation of provincial members of the Election Commission of Pakistan for their alleged involvement in election rigging.

“I had made this demand a year back even before Imran Khan and I stick to it today”, he said while talking to reporters at a local hotel here accompanied by senior PPP leaders including Navid Ch and Malik Manzoor.

The Opposition leader said that there was no denying the fact that provincial members of the commission had their role in rigging of 2013 elections. They must resign, he added.

Responding to a question about the ongoing rangers’ operation in Karachi, he said all institutions should work within their constitutional limits. “And if they don’t, the state is the ultimate loser”, he said.

Khursheed further stated that his party did not support corruption and terrorism in any form but this was not something peculiar to Sindh only. “The problem also exists in Punjab, KPK and Balochistan. But why is it that operation has been launched only in Sindh province?”, he asked.

Shah alleged that it was Dictator Ziaul Haq who cultivated the seeds of corruption and terrorism in Pakistan. “These are the gifts of a dictator”, he added.

On current impasse in Pak-India relations, Shah said that Pakistan should raise this issue at the UN body and also launch a diplomatic offensive to apprise the friendly countries of the Indian obstinacy.

He was of the view that war was not an option to resolve disputes. “It breeds poverty and further complicates the matters”, he said, adding that negotiations were the only viable option to address all issues. He said India wanted to bring Pakistan under pressure to

achieve its ulterior motives.

To a question about NAB’s action against PPP leader Qasim Zia, he said that NAB was victimizing him by initiating an eight years old case on weak grounds. “It is sheer victimization and therefore is not acceptable”, he observed.

He disclosed while responding to a question that Qasim Zia was under pressure to change his loyalties. “But being a staunch believer in the PPP ideology, he has refused to oblige without even a second thought. The opponents have now unleashed a witch hunting against him for that reason, he added.

Earlier, talking to reporters outside NAB court, Shah said he had come here along with PPP leaders, Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, Raja Riaz, Khurram Jehangir Wattoo, Naveed Chaudhry, Shaukat Basra, Raja Amir and many others, to express solidarity with Qasim Zia and to assure him that party leaders and workers were with him during these testing times.

He said that being head of the public accounts committee, he had sent several cases of corruption to the NAB, but no action had been initiated against any of the culprits. “I also wrote a letter to the NAB chairman in this regard, but to no avail”, he said, adding that he was now seeking time to meet him to take up the matter.

He demanded that NAB should also look into irregularities committed in the privatization of UBL, ABL and HBL besides the MCB.

On the question of election tribunal’s decision in respect of NA-122, he said that the judgment was not clear and Mr. Ayaz Sadiq had the right to go to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision. PPP supports him for exercising his legal right of appeal, he added.

Answering a question about resignation of MQM legislators, he said they should return to their respective legislatures in toto.