PTI to block next polls without reforms: Imran

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< LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan says he will use “street power” to block the next general elections if these are announced without electoral reforms.

The PTI is preparing a charter of demands based on the 40 findings given by the Judicial Commission constituted to assess rigging in the 2013 elections, he says, adding “the PTI will assert that at least 10 steps must be taken before the announcement of the next general elections.”

The party’s every plan has been held back till the judgement in the Panamagate scandal, he says.

‘Panamagate an open-and-shut case’

Speaking to senior journalists here on Friday, Mr Khan used a cricket analogy to make a point that nobody listens when you lose a match.

“A team has to take measures to get a neutral empire before the match.”

In case of ignoring the party demands, he said, “we will use street power before the next general elections.”

He said the PTI would ensure that the Election Commission of Pakistan is reconstituted as the present commission was constituted by the PML-N and PPP which were hand in glove. He said the PTI was also pressuring the ECP to introduce electronic voting machine that should also carry paper trail but all efforts had gone in vain.

He said the PTI would put up a charter of demands before the people who had been educated during the 126-day sit-in in Islamabad. World over, he said, the judicial commissions bring about reforms but the government here neither took a single step to reform the system nor did it hold any official accountable.

As for preparations for elections, the PTI chief said the parliamentary board would be constituted at federal and provincial levels after the announcement of Panama Papers case judgement. There would be no strict formula but a “mix and match” approach aiming at winning elections.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is prepared, while decisions had already been taken on many seats in Punjab. In other cases, many choices are available,” he said and added that many politicians from other parties wanted to join the PTI but are awaiting the Panama case judgement with their fingers crossed.

“The PTI will not mind seat adjustments, where needed,” he said.

Expecting that the Panamagate judgement could come next week, he said it was an “open and shut’ case but unnecessarily dragged. He said none of the thousands of those named in this scandal ever denied or challenged the authenticity of the revelations.

Earlier, speaking to media persons at Lahore airport, the PTI chief said the dream of “Naya Pakistan” would come true after Panamagate judgement.

He said the state institutions were exposed during the court proceedings and this case would have not reached the Supreme Court, if institutions would have been working according to their mandate.

He said the Qatri letters were meant to cover up money laundering which was explained by Ishaq Dar in a detailed affidavit given before a magistrate.

He said the State Bank of Pakistan report said some $10 billion were being flying out of the country through money laundering. This money should have been used for the welfare of the masses in terms of developing infrastructure and offering jobs to the educated and skilled youth.

Since the Sharif family told the court that the Qatris were its business partner for the past 25 years, he said the latest award of Rs200 billion Port Qasim contract (without bidding) to Qataris explained conflict of interest.

Answering a question about PPP-P President Asif Ali Zardari’s threat to the NAB chairman, the PTI chief said Zardari was right in saying that NAB would never catch him because it was ready to lay its hands on Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif. He also said the NAB chairman was appointed after due consultation between the PML-N and PPP.

He said the government sent secret message to the US and India that it was with them but the army was getting out of control. In doing so it had committed treason, he said.

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