ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan urged the Supreme Court (SC) to immediately intervene and take notice of the unjust step of en mass rejection of nomination papers of the PTI’s candidates on false and flimsy grounds by Returning Officers (ROs) to ensure holding fair, free and transparent elections in order to save democracy in the country.
During his informal conversation with journalists here on Monday, PTI Chairman highlighted that PTI and its leaders, workers as well as affiliates were being subjected to the worst reprisals and coercive actions.
He said that in the first phase of election, the nomination papers of more or less all the top PTI’s candidates were rejected in an unbelievable manner, opening a door of unnecessary legal proceedings aimed at entangling the party and its candidates in needless legal battle so as to keep them away from the masses.
However, he expressed optimism that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) would prompt action to reverse the unjust and unlawful decisions.
PTI Chairman pointed out that the manner in which PTI and its candidates were being subjected to worst oppression and suppression in order to oust the party from the electoral battle had neither any place in the constitution nor in democracy.
Barrister Gohar Khan reiterated that PTI fully believed in democracy and was in favor of providing equal and fair opportunities to all political parties to participate freely in the elections.
He made it clear that despite the launch of the election process, PTI’s workers and supporters were not safe from oppression and fascism, adding that all basic constitutional and legal rights as a party were being usurped and taken away.
PTI Chairman vowed that they believed in the supremacy of constitution and upholding the rule of law in the country and wanted to see the country strong and prosperous.
Barrister Gohar Khan underlined that constitutionally, the Election Commission was bound to conduct free, impartial, fair and transparent elections in the country, adding that the state could be strengthened only through free and transparent elections.
However, PTI Chairman went on to say that the electoral watchdog has completely failed in performing its constitutional duty, which was evident from the non-implementation of the SC’s ruling pertaining to the providing level playing fields to all political parties due to which the electoral body was fast losing its credibility and effectiveness.
He stated that the international observers and organizations working on the transparency of elections were also closely and keenly mentoring the election process.
PTI Chairman lamented that the judges of Peshawar High Court (PHC) were being openly and blatantly threatened for their merit-based decisions regarding PTI.
Barrister Gohar Khan expressed his apprehensions that if the top court did not immediately intervene, democratic system would be wrapped up from the country.
PTI Chairman made it clear that undermining the transparency of elections and depriving the people of their right to vote was tantamount to a conspiracy against Pakistan.
He stressed that political stability and economic revival were directly linked with the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in the country otherwise, rigged and stage-managed polls would further exacerbate political and economic instability in the country.
Barrister Gohar Khan vowed that PTI would keep on its political struggle for its rights in a peaceful manner within the ambit of the constitution and law in all circumstances.
He made it clear that they would never boycott the elections in any case and even if the PTI did not allow its election symbol of the “bat”, as they had an alternative strategy.
However, Barrister Gohar Khan raised a question that in case, PTI was deprived of its electoral symbol, then who would get the 227 reserved seats and whom to be blamed for the horse-trading in the aftermath of the elections.
PTI Chairman stated that if the elements involved in the deviation of the constitution did not shun their unconstitutional and unlawful actions, then as a party believed in the upholding of the constitution and law, they would also continue their struggle through peaceful constitutional and democratic methods come what may.
Barrister Gohar Khan recalled that PTI Founder Chairman Imran Khan had unequivocally stated that they had no conflict with any institution or personality of the state, adding that they wanted free and fair elections because people of the country have the ultimate power under the constitution to decide their fate.
Barrister Gohar Khan said that SC should take instantly notice of the situation and take effective and much-needed remedial measures to not only put a halt on the unlawful and unconstitutional steps against PTI but to ensure undisputed polls in the country.