LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek on Thursday announced to support the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the upcoming by-election in NA-120 constituency in Lahore being held on September 17.
“We were supporting PTI candidate in NA-120, and will intensify our support for the candidate,” said PAT chief Tahir-ul-Qadri addressing a press conference along with PTI chairman Imran Khan.
“The PML-N candidate is supporting the killers of humanity in Model Town incident,” said Qadri adding that the people will have to decide whether to side with them or an educated PTI candidate.
Referring to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the cleric reminded that he was not disqualified for possessing a UAE iqama but rather for dishonesty, which has also been confirmed by the Supreme Court. “Now the deputy chairman of the same firm is the candidate for NA-120 by-election.”
Therefore, he called on the people to cast the decisive vote on September 17 whether they will side with the ‘plunders of the state’ and let Pakistan slide into a ‘dynastic rule’ or with the ‘poor, oppressed people of the country.’
PTI chairman Imran Khan thanked Qadri for his support. Referring to the contempt notice issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said that it was unheard of in a democratic society that a law refrains the party leader to campaign in an election.
“The law has been made as the PTI has people power, and the ability to bring out large crowds. It is the only party which filled the (grounds of) Minar-e-Pakistan three times within two years,” he said maintaining that the code of conduct developed to restrict the PTI.
He lamented the dual-standards stating that federal ministers and mayors were campaigning, and the use of state resources was evident as development schemes were being held. “Maryam Nawaz is acting as the deputy prime minister. They have the right but Imran Khan is being stopped.”
However, he vowed to visit the constituency and pay his respects at the Data Darbar and the party members will follow him.
He said that was unheard of that the ECP can issue a summons in a contempt case. “Maryam Nawaz is criticising the judiciary every day, while Nawaz Sharif did so at the GT Road,” he said but still the Supreme Court had not issued any notices to them but the ECP has issued over a minor issue.
He said the attitude of the ECP was impartial, whose main responsibility is to hold free and fair elections, but had rather picked a foreign funding case filled by members who were expelled from the party six years ago.
He questioned whether the ECP is playing the role of the court, stating that its head was appointed by Nawaz Sharif and the Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah, and he will take the matter to the Supreme Court.
He said that the NA-120 by-election will decide whether the people side with the Supreme Court who held the accountability of the powerful for the first time, or rather with the oppressors and plunderers of the state.
Qadri said that resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly in favour of Nawaz Sharif was unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court had the power to interpret legislation. He said the resolution was an attempt to create to a clash between institutions.
Imran Khan said that ECP does not have the authority to issue an arrest warrant, and they have filed a case in the court.
Qadri vowed to continue his quest for justice in the Model Town incident, saying that families of the victims have remained steadfast and refused to comprise and accept any compensation. He said that they will not rest when they have received justice over the incident.