Islamabad - Reacting to the press conference of Information Minister Pervez Rashid, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Saturday said that the minister had no answers to PTI chief’s four questions so he chose to evade the core issues.

Central Information Secretary PTI, MNA Dr Shireen Mazari, said in a statement that the Information Minister Pervez Rashid had no answers to PTI’s four questions. On question 1, she said the minister had asked Nawaz Sharif to deliver his speech to all the supporters who were gathering in Raiwind by the evening. But the issue is not simply speaking to PML-N workers but of making a victory speech before official results were in and of demanding that he should be given a clear mandate. So PTI has rightly asked who was Nawaz addressing when he asked for a clear mandate since as Pervez Rasheed himself pointed out, voting had already stopped. Clearly on these points PML-N’s spokesperson had no answer.

On question 2, Rasheed on the issue of returning officers (ROs) tried to twist the whole issue by referring to Imran Khan’s demand of 2012 that ROs be appointed from the judiciary. “Yes PTI did so but PTI’s question is why were the ROs not held accountable,” she said, adding that especially where wrongdoing has been clearly shown, why is no one holding the ROs accountable? On that the PMLN has no answer, she added.

On question 3, regarding the role of caretakers especially Najam Sethi, Pervez Rasheed had an absurd response that Sethi was the PPP’s choice as if somehow that justifies all his rigging efforts. Mazari said that Rasheed pointing to various transfers and postings in Punjab by Sethi was not an answer to PTI’s question about Sethi’s role in rigging and the 35 punctures for which he was rewarded with chairmanship of PCB. Otherwise what were his credentials for this post? she asked. On question 4, regarding the role of the ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry in electoral rigging, Rasheed forgot to answer the question totally and got derailed. PTI’s objection was to ex-CJ addressing the ROs before the elections as CJ and then applauding them for conducting “fair and free elections”. Now he has been rewarded with his son Arsalan Chaudhry being made Chairman Balochistan BOI. Mazari said its a pity Rasheed was unable to comprehend and answer PTI’s four questions. As for his reference to PTI’s sending money for IDPs, he should see as to how the IKF (Imran Khan Foundation) is already helping the IDPs. It is shameful how PML-N is using the IDPs for political purposes and how the PM chose to visit a fake IDP camp in Bannu. Instead of spending on lawn maintenance, security dogs and BMWs all at state expense along with foreign tours and security for the whole Sharif clan, the PML-N govt should divert the taxpayers’ money for the poor displaced people streaming in from NWA. In addition, it was scandalous how the govt spent Rs 600m of taxpayer money on advertising to counter PTI’s movement and Tahirul Qadri. Given the Sharif’s huge stash of money abroad this self-projection should have been from their personal wealth, she said.

Mazari said it was an insult to the people of Pakistan who came out as never before to vote in the 2013 elections, to have the government ridicule serious issues raised by PTI which touch the very foundations of Pakistan’s democracy.