Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman calls for nationwide protests against Returning Officers
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan called for peaceful protests across the nation against Returning Officers (ROs) on Sunday, Pakistan-based The Express Tribune reported.
He said that the people of Pakistan had complete trust in former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision of "slavery unacceptable" in the aftermath of the February 8 polls.
He noted that despite the challenges faced on February 8, the people have showcased a clear and transparent mandate in favour of the PTI. He accused the ROs of "attempting to usurp their mandate once again." He condemned these "unacceptable attempts to undermine democracy through tampering with election results."
Gohar Ali Khan warned that any such action would be detrimental to Pakistan and unacceptable to the people, "who will not tolerate any violation of their voting rights." He highlighted the importance of making use of "constitutional, democratic, and political rights for the fundamental purpose of protecting the people's mandate," The Express Tribune reported.
The PTI chairman asserted that gaining a clear majority in the Centre, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the "constitutional and democratic right of the PTI," according to The Express Tribune report. He stated that "preserving complete respect for the people's mandate is in the best interest of Pakistan and should be maintained under all circumstances."
After the recent elections held on February 8, both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have been making efforts to establish governments in the Centre, Punjab, and Balochistan, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
Both parties are proceeding cautiously, guarding their strategies while delicately negotiating the contours of a potential power-sharing arrangement.
A delegation from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is in Lahore, responding to the invitation extended by the PML-N to discuss their post-election strategies. According to Dawn report, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, after the polls hinted at the formation of a national unity government akin to the PDM alliance, entrusting his brother and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with the task of initiating consultations for government formation.
A senior PML-N official said, "The PML-N leadership explored the prospect of supporting the PPP to form the federal government, focusing on Punjab, where Shehbaz Sharif holds a substantial majority." However, unlike the swift formation of the PDM in 2022, deliberations this time are expected to be more thorough.
In a statement to a private Pakistan TV channel, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed initial consultations between Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, underscoring that both leaders would seek their parties' input regarding coalition building, Dawn reported.
Addressing queries about engaging with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or its independent allies, Aurangzeb clarified, "The PML-N has no intentions to engage with PTI independents." Shehbaz Sharif is expected to be a frontrunner for the premier's position within the proposed coalition government in Islamabad.
"A myriad of discussions are ongoing within the PML-N and PPP concerning coalition formation, including deliberations on the prime ministerial and presidential candidates as well as the allocation of key provincial positions," Dawn reported citing a party source.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif presided over a party meeting in Model Town and stressed that all political parties must unite for the sake of Pakistan, Dawn reported. He said, "We will meet the expectations of the masses. The purpose of the new government will be to provide economic relief to the people."