Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday reiterated that the only solution to the country’s current political and economic crisis was “immediate and transparent” elections.
Talking exclusively to ARY News, Khan said that the ruling coalition government of Shehbaz Sharif was so afraid of his popularity as it would not announce elections. He accused his political rivals – Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari – of attempting to delay elections, saying they are afraid to announce elections because of PTI’s growing popularity and recent polls’ result.
In response to a question, the PTI Chairman accused the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Raja Sultan of sabotaging electronic voting machines (EVMs) with the support of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), reported ARY News.
Referring to the chief election commissioner, the former premier said that the biggest political party – PTI – has expressed reservations over Sultan Raja. “He [Raja] wasn’t leaving the seat despite reservations,” he added.
“We had introduced EVMs to hold transparent elections in the country, but CEC Sikandar Raja sabotaged it with the support of PML-N,” he said, accusing the electoral watchdog of being biased.
Imran Khan also accused the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of clinching Karachi’s NA-237 seat through ‘rigging’, demanding the ECP to hold re-election in the constituency, reported ARY News.
“We lost Karachi’s NA-237 seat due to rigging by PPP,” he added.
The PTI Chairman said his party had “all the evidence” that the PPP openly indulged in the rigging. “The Sindh election commissioner is on the provincial government’s payroll and we have already approached the judicial council against him,” he added.
He alleged that the elections were held in the constituencies where PTI was weak and the ruling coalition fielded joint candidates to ensure his party’s defeat — but they failed, reported ARY News.
“It is unfortunate that the country has not witnessed transparent polls to date,” he said, asking why every political party refused to hold elections through electronic voting machines (EVMs).
He added, “They [PML-N and PPP] did not want transparent elections because they have created rigging methods.”
A day earlier, Imran Khan made history by emerging victorious on six National Assembly seats in Sunday by-elections, according to unofficial results.
PTI managed to secure six out of eight National Assembly seats in the crucial by-election on Sunday, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) clinched two — NA-157 Multan and NA-237 Karachi — which were bagged by the PTI in the 2018 general elections.