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Wednesday, April 17, 2024  
08 Shawwal 1445  

PTI’s strategy ready if bat symbol denied: Ali Zafar

Adds that PTI has already trained workers for elections

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Ali Zafar said that the Election Commission of Pakistan should legally rule give them the bat symbol but strategies were in place if it does not happen.

Speaking in Faisla Aap Ka on Monday, Ali Zafar said that he was forced to say that the rules of the game were being changed at every ball.

He added that the ECP had recently asked the PTI to hold elections within 20 days and the party had decided to make a sacrifice as it did not want to give anyone an excuse to keep it from getting the bat symbol.

Zafar said that 14 petitions have been filed against the intra-party elections but none of the petitioners are members of the party and cannot legally file an application.

He said that the ECP had now reserved the decision and he believed that the petitions should be rejected.

However, the ECP has now posed 40-50 questions from its own side for the PTI to answer, Zafar said.

He said that the questions were related to matters which the ECP had no right to probe. he added that the ECP had asked about elections going back 10 years, where the schedule was kept, who the secretary general is and others.

Zafar said that the nature of the questions had cause for him to worry.

He said that while the party could be capable of answering the questions, the real matter was of the delay these proceedings might cause as the election schedule has already been announced.

The senator said that the party was not being allowed to hold the rallies on the ground so it had turned to the virtual space.

He said that the ECP was bound to allot the election symbol within seven days but if it did not, the party has a stable alternate strategy which he is comfortable with.

Zafar said that it was clear in his view that the election would not be boycotted.

Khurram Dastgir Khan said that the current matter was between the ECP and the PTI. He said that it had been seen in the foreign funding case and other cases involving Imran Khan, that the party was an expert at going to the higher courts over the smallest point.

He said that the PMLN had a chance to ban the PTI after May 9 if it wanted by filing a reference in the Supreme Court as the PTI had done against the TLP.

Dastgir said that the PMLN was a demcoratic party and wanted a democratic fight.

ON Bugti joining PPP and possible problems for PMLN, Dastgir said that the only people facing problems were TV analysts. He said that the matter rpoved that lasting impressions should not be made on the basis of individual developments.

Politics is a dynamic and fluid process, he added.

He said that it was a question worth asking whether a caretaker minister could step down two days before the election schedule is announced to contest elections. He added that he personally thought it should not be allowed.

Asked about the impression that PMLN did not want elections, Dastgir said it was not true and the PTI was the only party that had tried to delay elections through a petition.

Dastgir said that PMLN’s candidates were being selected through a democratic process.

Zafar said that the situation that had emerged from the LHC verdict on returning officers was a common occurence in legal matters and it was not the intention at any point to delay elections.

He added that he himslef had been the lawyer in both petitions that had led to election dates being fixed in April 2023 and February 2024.

Zafar said that the SC had correctly intervened to make sure that the LHC verdict did not lead to an election delay. He added now all parties were on the campaign trail.

When will the election campaign heat up?

Dastgir said that the final list of candidates would be published on January 12 and the next 26 days would see proper election campaigning.

He said that workes conventions were already underway and this method of reaching voters might be more effective.

The PMLN leader said that the party would not opt for virtual rallies but actually get on the ground.

Zafar said that the ultimate decision on the electoral symbol would be as per law as the party could reach the high courts and then the Supreme Court.

He said that even if there were temporary delays, the party had an effective strategy in place. However, he did not give any details.

He added that a large number of volunteers had already been found and trained since the party had been preparing for the elections for many months. He said that the party structure was perhaps not visible but was organised.

Zafar also denied the impression that the party’s candidates would be dominated by lawyers and political workers would likely dominate the final list.

Dastgir said that the PMLN had been deprived of its electoral symbol in the 2018 senate election and its candidates had been forced to run as independents. He said that this was why the PDM government had not taken any such measures against other parties.

He added that the party was confident of mobilising the public as it had done it on a massive scale to welcome Nawaz Sharif.

Zafar said that the main point of elections was being able to campaign and it was being denied to the PTI.

He said that if Dastgir believed that the 2013 elections were fair,, then it should be remembered that they took place under judicial officers.

Zafar said that it would be the biggest injustice if the electoral symbol of bat would be rejected and the party was also afraid that its candidates could be arrested or their nomination papers rejected.

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Khurram Dastgir


ali zafar

general elections

Election commission of Pakistan

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