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PTI would challenge in court ECP decision

21 September, 2015

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan said on Sunday his party would challenge in court decision by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to bar parliamentarians from taking part in the campaigns of electoral candidates.

The PTI would also file an application with the ECP in this regard, he said. Speaking to media personnel here, Mr Khan claimed the ban imposed by the ECP was illegal and undemocratic.

He said he neither held public office nor did he control public funds. Therefore, he should not be barred from taking part in election campaigns of his party’s candidates.

Accompanied by PTI’s Punjab organiser Chaudhry Sarwar, Mr Khan said he would not allow the ECP to succeed in its “nefarious designs” of helping the PML-N win the coming by-elections.

He alleged that police “were running campaigns of PML-N’s candidates” and advised his party’s leaders, workers and supporters to make videos or record voices of the policemen harassing them.

He said his party would expose such policemen and take them to task after coming to power. The incumbent rulers had converted police into “Gullu police”, he added.

He said his party would hold a protest in Islamabad on Oct 4 if its demand regarding removal of four ECP members was not met. The PTI chief accused the PML-N of conspiring with the ECP to rig the coming by-elections.

He said the PTI would expose the alleged corruption of PML-N leaders. Mr Khan said he did not believe in any system other than democracy, but people would naturally look towards Rangers for accountability of the corrupt if NAB became a tool in the hands of the rulers.

The PTI chief claimed the PML-N government announced a Rs340 billion relief package for farmers because it came under considerable pressure when his party organised a Kissan convention. He termed the package pre-poll rigging and criticised the ECP over its silence over the matter.

Mr Sarwar said that PTI was contesting by-elections under the present ECP only because it believed in democracy. He warned that the party’s support for democracy should not be taken as its weakness.

He said that some relatives of the inspector general of Punjab police were contesting local government elections from the platform of the PML-N and asked whether police could be impartial in such a situation.

He refused to accept investigations into the murder of PTI union council candidate Ghaffar Gujjar unless anti-terrorism clauses were included in the charges.

He alleged that police were working under political influence of the government and were targeting PTI workers and candidates instead of nabbing extortionists, looters and killers.

Mr Sarwar criticised the ECP’s decision of placing a ban on parliamentarians to run campaigns for their parties’ candidates, saying the move was tantamount to damaging democracy in the country.

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