PTI to ‘merge’ with Sunni Ittehad Council if ECP returns electoral symbol: Asad Qaiser

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PTI to ‘merge’ with Sunni Ittehad Council

ISLAMABAD, MAR 15: PTI leader Asad Qaiser on Friday said his party would “merge” with the Sunni Ittehad Council if the Election Commission of Pakistan accepted its recent intra-party polls and returned its electoral symbol of ‘bat’.

In January, after back-and-forth verdicts by the ECP and the Peshawar High Court (PHC), the PTI’s electoral symbol ultimately wasrevoked by the Supreme Court.

On March 3, the PTI conducted its intra-party elections for the third time in the past two years, following its Dec 2 elections that were earlier declared invalid.

A day ago, the Peshawar High Court upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to reject the party allocation of reserved women and minority seats.

The dismissal of its plea challenging the ECP verdict has left the SIC — the new home of PTI-backed winning candidates — with no reserved seats. The PTI has said it would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Speaking on DawnNewsTV show ‘Doosra Rukh’ that will be aired at 5pm today, when asked whether PTI-backed candidates who joined the SIC would remain in it, Qaiser said, “Yes, we will remain but we will also merge with it.”

He explained that if the party got back its electoral symbol after the recent intra-party polls, “both [parties] would merge” and “remain as PTI”, rather than the current scenario of its candidates being a part of the SIC.

On the matter of whether it would be allowed under the laws, he said his party was consulting legal experts.

When asked whether it was the right decision for PTI-backed candidates to join the SIC, Qaiser replied that the party held “many consultations” amongst it and that the options were few.

Speaking about the PHC verdict, the ex-NA speaker said the party’s legal team “should challenge it in the Supreme Court”.

Referring to the coalition government, he said, “A fake government cannot understand this country’s economic situation. […] They do not have the capacity, capability or even authority to make decisions. They will run away themselves.”

When asked if other parties in the current coalition government, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, would stick with the PML-N-PPP coalition, Qaiser replied: “God-willing, there would be public pressure to the extent that the mandate thieves will leave this [government].

“A new government will be formed, which will rightly comprise of those given the public mandate,” he said, adding that he saw “a change coming in four to five months”.

When asked if he thought elections would be held anew, the PTI MNA expressed hope of “getting justice” from the cases currently under way in the election appellate tribunals and other courts. “And we will get our seats back [from the courts],” he said.

On the possibility of bringing a vote of no-confidence against the current government, Qaiser said, “Definitely, when we will have the [required] numbers, there will be our representation. God-willing, Imran Khan will be the prime minister.”