Imran Khan announced to run a campaign for his party candidates
20 September, 2015
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Saturday announced to run a campaign for his party’s candidates in the upcoming by-elections in NA-122 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran-I), despite a ban on all parliamentarians from visiting and participating in campaigning for the by-polls.
“I will run the campaign for by-elections because rigging has to be defeated. It is necessary if we want democracy in our country,” Imran told a press conference in Lahore. The PTI chief said relevant laws do not place any bar on him for doing so, and added that restrictions by the ECP on him in this regard were ‘incomprehensible’.
“I am not president or prime minister of the country who can be stopped from running the campaign. I am leader of a political party who has to convey the party’s manifesto to the masses,” he said. Imran said that he would extensively campaign in support of his party’s candidates in NA-122 and NA-154.
“I visited the constituency of NA-122 and the public response was very favourable. People of both constituencies support PTI,” he stated. “I will give my total support to Aleem Khan in NA-122, as we want to make a point and defeat rigging,” he added.
Imran Khan alleged that government officials affiliated with the provincial government of Punjab are involved in campaigning against his party and intimidating his workers before the upcoming by-polls.
“Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Superintendent of Police (SP) Umar Virk is involved in campaigning against PTI, and is performing these services for the incumbent government in Punjab,” he alleged.
Imran further alleged that he has evidence that Virk also threatened Ghaffar Gujjar, a PTI worker who was recently shot, on the phone two days before he was attacked. “The government of Punjab under PML-N is using the provincial police as its enforcers and thugs and are using them to influence the upcoming by-polls in the province,” he added. The PTI chief also claimed that Umar Virk is involved in threatening his party workers, and is encouraging criminal elements to intimidate his workers in order to stop them from performing their party duties for the upcoming by-polls in Lahore.