PTI’s Senior Vice President Sher Afzal Khan Marwat has said that the party will prefer giving tickets to lawyers as leadership believes that lawyers will lead from the front in the current political atmosphere.
“Barrister Gohar Khan was picked as the party’s chairman for the intra-party polls because Imran Khan believes lawyers will be able to counter the crackdown against the party,” he told Munizae Jahangir on Spot Light.
On retaining the ‘bat’ as an electoral symbol, Marwat said that the Election Commission will have no excuse to refuse to allot the PTI its electoral symbol once it holds intra-party elections.
“The [ECP] decision was also unjustified. It was only aimed at taking Khan out of this [chairman] office or disputing the tickets awarded by the party for upcoming elections,” the PTI leader added.
On intra-party elections, he said that Khan had ordered him to announce Barrister Gohar Khan’s name for the slot of chairman today (Wednesday) 2:00pm.
“We thought we could be trapped in two matters. Either they will take our electoral symbol from us or they could say at any moment that the party’s tickets were controversial and force our candidates to contest elections independently,” he added.
According to Marwat, Khan immediately decided to nominate Barrister Gohar Khan as the party chairman when the team met him yesterday (Tuesday) and told him about the legal complications.
Along with the party chairmanship, Khan also decided that no member of his family would take part in the intra-party elections, he said.
Marwat said that the former prime minister has given him the responsibility to organise rallies and party conventions across the country.
“You all saw how Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rose when we held workers’ conventions in the province. We are now going to Punjab and it will also rise with us,” he added.
Khan’s legal aide Naeem Haider Panjutha said that the party leadership had decided on the name of Barrister Khan for the slot of party chairman.
However, several teams met him on different occasions which made all of it confusing, he added.
“Khan told us to deny the news of picking Barrister Gohar Khan’s name when we met him. The reason for it was our pending application at the Islamabad High Court which has been fixed for tomorrow,” Panjutha said.
He was of the view that Barrister Khan was an acceptable choice for all leaders and workers of the party.
“He has been with the party through thick and thin. When Khan was arrested on May 9, he was standing with the PTI chief,” he said.