The PTI was in disarray on Tuesday after one of its senior leaders claimed that party chairman Imran Khan won’t contest the intra-party elections, which have to be held within 20 days as per the ECP order. But the former ruling party denied it.
All of this started after PTI’s Senior Vice President Sher Afzal Marwat’s media talk outside the Adiala Jail.
“Khan sahib himself has decided that he will not contest the polls for the office of PTI chairman,” he said and added that the decision was taken with consensus because of the legal restrictions and impending disqualification in the Toshakhana case.
Marwat said the decision would be reversed as soon as the disqualification was set aside. The statement led to speculations over the future of Khan as the party chairman.
But the former ruling party, without naming Marwar, denied its senior leader and the speculations made in the media.
“Discussions are ongoing on all the important issues regarding the holding of intra-party elections,” it said, adding that no decision has been taken to withdraw Khan from the intra-party election or to nominate any other leader.
The party added that as soon as the leadership reached a conclusion on all the important issues, including the holding of intra-party elections, the date and procedure, and the selection of candidates, the details would be released.
But Marwat stuck to his statement as he described the party’s statement as a “paradox”. The senior vice president added that whatever he said in his media talk about the intra-party poll was “correct”.
He supported his statement by saying that the decisions were taken by the PTI chairman in the presence of Senator Ali Zafar, Barrister Gohar Umair Niazi, and himself.
“I fail to understand who is behind the contradiction and why the misleading statement was issued. The media are advised to verify my statement with the above persons if you don’t mind,” he said.
He further posted on X, erstwhile Twitter, that no member of the Khan family would contest intra-party elections for any office of the party.
While talking to Aaj News, PTI leader Shoaib Shaheen termed such developments as an “attempt” to create disarray in the party.
He quoted the party’s official statement to support his argument, saying that a Toshakhan case was fixed for hearing in the court on Wednesday in which he was convicted. He went on to add that on the basis of which there was a dispute of disqualification.
The ECP has been sent a notice on this that the order was yet to be suspended. “If that order is suspended tomorrow [Wednesday], then there is no constitutional restriction on Imran Khan,” he said and added that the party would make a plan for the future in the light of the decision.
Shaheen was of the view that the party has 20 days to make a decision and lamented the issuance of such statements before the case.