In what appeared to have an unexpected move, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan rejected the passage of 20th Constitutional Amendment, issuing warning of a civil-war if the upcoming elections are not conducted in a free and transparent way.
While speaking a news conference at his residence on Wednesday after former federal minister Noraiz Shakoor announced joining the PTI. The cricketer-turned politician sought an all-party conference to form an independent and autonomous election commission and a neutral caretaker set-up.
About unanimously approved the 20th Amendment by the National Assembly, Imran commented, “If an independent election commission consisting of credible persons is not formed to ensure transparent and free polls, rigging will lead the country to a civil war and bloodshed.”
In his view, the two biggest parties in parliament, the PML-N and PPP, had struck a deal on the amendment to shield each other’s interests and not the hapless people. He warned that they would not permit anyone to steer the country at one’s own desire.
Imran also regretted that the PML-N, which until now had been waging a ‘Go Zardari Go’ campaign, sat together with the ruling PPP to get the amendment clear from parliament.
He made a demand to convene all-party conference (APC) to form a credible and upright election commission acceptable to all and not just the two political parties.
He claimed that the two parties, the PML-N and the PPP, had come close for their interests while people were suffering from hungriness.
Replying to a question about allegations that the PTI was accepting former PML-Q leaders in its folds, the party chief said if Nawaz Sharif, despite public dictums that PML-Q turncoats would not be welcomed, could rule Punjab with the help of these members, then why they were objecting to inclusion of some of the PML-Q leaders into his party.
Imran told a questioner that morality demanded that Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani should have tendered his resignation after being charges by the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.
He opined that negotiations were being in process with Jamat-e-Islami but not with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for an alliance in the elections.