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Long march won’t be delayed past October: Imran Khan warns govt

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  • Giving them more time before launching long march.
  • Dialogue with the ruling elite out of question.
  • Demands re-election in Karachi, Daska.

ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan said Monday that his party’s anti-government “Azadi March” would not be delayed past October as they have completed their preparations.

In a press conference, the PTI chairman said: “My march will be held in October if the government does not announce the date for the next general election.”

The PTI chief warned the government that multitudes of people would take to the streets responding to his call to the nation for the anti-government march.

Khan said he was still cutting the government some slack so that they could decide on it. “I am actually giving them some more time before embarking on our long march protest.”

“[Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah won’t even know what hit him, such is my preparation,” Khan warned the top minister, who recently claimed the government’s preparation was 10 times more as compared to May 25.

He said dialogue was out of the question with the ruling elite. “There’s no negotiation with criminals. You can hold reconciliation talks with Baloch or Sindhi nationalists, but not with the felons like them,” Khan added.

Khan’s press conference came after his party won Sunday’s by-election by a major margin. The PTI chief won six of the eight National Assembly seats up for grabs and his party added two more to their seat count in the Punjab Assembly.

But not completely satisfied with the results, Khan alleged that the elections were held in the constituencies where PTI was weak and the ruling coalition fielded joint candidates to ensure his party’s defeat.

He said that the government did not wish to hold elections and used floods as an excuse. “They said that there were floods. But in the constituencies where elections were held, floods did not have an effect there.”

Khan claimed that he lost Karachi’s Malir by-polls to a PPP candidate — Abdul Hakeem Baloch — as it was rigged.

“Sindh’s election commissioner was on the provincial government’s payroll. We reject [Malir’s] by-election and demand re-election. The PPP swung the polls to their advantage through indiscriminate rigging,” Khan alleged.

He said the nation had rejected this legislature as well as this government and wanted new polls across the country.

Khan condemned the law enforcement agencies for booking the ageing PTI leader Azam Swati in a “baseless case” and then allegedly subjecting him to grievous bodily harm in police custody. “They beat up the 75-year-old in front of his grandchildren.”

Chiding the government for allegedly torturing PTI leader and former federal minister, he said that what the authorities did to him was “utterly shameless”. 

“Doesn’t the Constitution provide the people of Pakistan the right to their self-esteem? These rulers were afraid of elections,” Khan said adding, it was time to move forward.

 “We will approach the international human rights bodies against these violations.”


Khan announces decisions of party’s senior leadership pertaining to torture:

  • PTI to call special session of KP, Punjab assemblies on torture of its leaders, journalists;
  • PTI senators to file petition against torture of its leaders;
  • Party to write letters to int’l oragnisations — human rights committee in Geneva, UN special rapporteur on torture, EU special representative on human rights, int’l parliamentary union;
  • Long march anytime soon.

CEC PML-N’s ‘inside’ man

Khan said that they can win elections without the support of umpires.

Berating Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the PTI chair said: “I have not seen a more dishonest election commissioner than Sikandar Sultan Raja in this country.”

“Sikandar Sultan is PML-N’s man inside the election commission,” Khan alleged and added that this election was held by the ECP in cahoots with the government.

“Raja did not allow electronic voting machines (EVM),” he said, adding that If there were EVMs, they could not have rigged the elections.

Khan also disclosed they had moved Supreme Judicial Commission and their case was being heard.

The PTI leader also demanded re-election in Daska.

“I have been saying this for the last three years that they (the government) were actually trying to get away with an amnesty for their wrong deeds under the NRO,” Khan said adding that Gen Musharraf dealt a blow to the country by offering them NROs.

He said the PML-N was imposed on the country when it was on an upward trajectory. “Ironically, in this country, a small-time thief always gets caught but the big-time one remains at large,” Khan said.

The US issue

Saying that he was accused of isolating the country, Khan dared his accusers to read his reply to the tweet of former US president Donald Trump immediately after his “illegal” ouster.

“Americans respect nationalists,” Khan said.

He alleged that the government spent hundreds of millions of rupees on their US visits. “Bilawal was touring the whole world, while Sindh was sinking.”

He said it was old propaganda against Pakistan that was still being actively pursued and they were pushing the country to the brink of default. “I had said they left the country in the lurch of default twice before.”

According to Khan, he and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had conveyed the message to the establishment that the economy would become hard to handle [in the hands of the PML-N-led government].

“They are not giving any consideration to the country.”

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On April 16, President Zardari will speak to the joint session of parliament.

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As to the press statement from the President’s House, the joint session of parliament is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 1600 hours.

In accordance with Article 56(3) of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall address both Houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) of the causes of its summons” at the beginning of the first session following each general election to the National Assembly and at the beginning of the first session of each year,” he would address the joint session.

By virtue of the authority granted by Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution, President Zardari called a joint session of the legislature.

It is important to note that National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the previous joint session of Parliament, which was called on March 9th in preparation for the presidential elections.

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Elections

The PPP seeks assistance from political parties in the election of the Senate chairman.

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The PPP special committee members have contacted other political parties in an attempt to get votes for Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the party’s nominee for the Senate majority.

In order to create a plan for the chairman’s election, Senator Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar reached out to former PM Gillani.
According to Sherry Rehman, Yousaf Raza Gillani has a resounding majority in the Senate, and the PPP, together with its allies, will demonstrate its dominance in the chamber tomorrow (Tuesday).

It should be noted that tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., President Asif Ali Zardari will convene the Senate.

In addition to the newly elected senators taking an oath during the Senate session, the election of the chairman and deputy chairman will also take place on the same day.

On Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recommendation, the president had previously signed a summary designating Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar as the presiding officer of the senate session.

37 candidates who were selected to fill Senate seats in the most recent election were notified by the election commission.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s eleven Senate seats are still up for election.

Analysts stated that the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process because there are just 11 lawmakers holding KP seats.

There is currently no election calendar for the 11 open KP Senate seats.

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Elections

Core Committee: PTI to abstain from Senate Chairman and Dy Chairman elections

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It has also been determined by the party to file a legal challenge against the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman.

According to PTI core committee sources, the election was unlawful because the home was not completed. According to insiders, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s election was unconstitutional because senators were not elected.”

In the absence of the chairman, PTI sources claimed, “the house has been dysfunctional.” Except in administrative matters, the Senate Secretariat was unable to make decisions.

The sources stated that under pressure, “the Secretary Senate could not himself interpret the constitution.”

“Without the Senate Chairman, the upper chamber has merely functioned as a department,” the sources stated, calling for constitutional violations against individuals responsible for the dysfunction of the Senate.

Sources continued, “It is the first time the Senate has been rendered inoperative in the nation’s democratic history.”

A petition was previously submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which is supported by the Pakistan Terrorists (PTI), asking for a postponement of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections due to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s lack of Senate elections.

In the case where the petitioner asked the ECP to call an early election for the province’s 11 Senate seats, attorney Hamid Khan filed the plea on the SIC’s behalf.

Postponing the April 9 Senate chairman and deputy chairman election is recommended by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed SIC, which claims that the Electoral College will be incomplete without the KP Senate poll.

Recall that the opposition members’ application led to the provincial election commissioner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa postponing the Senate elections on April 2.

Because the disagreement over the oath-taking of the opposition members elected to reserved seats in the KP Assembly has not been settled, the opposition members had moved the ECP.

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