Confusion within PTI ranks over '35 punctures' allegation

Published July 2, 2015
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday had told Geo television's anchorperson Hamid Mir that the issue of 35 punctures was just "political talk". — INP/file
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday had told Geo television's anchorperson Hamid Mir that the issue of 35 punctures was just "political talk". — INP/file

A day after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan termed the allegation of '35 punctures' as just political talk, confusion has arisen within party ranks.

Senior leader Dr Arif Alvi says it is time to apologise for the allegation while another PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen has said there were in fact 71 punctures and not just 35.

Responding to a question about why the matter of 35 punctures was not raised before the judicial commission probing poll rigging allegations during the 2013 General Elections, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday told Geo television's anchorperson Hamid Mir that the issue of 35 punctures was just "political talk".

Read: The story Of ‘35 punctures’

He said the information had indirectly reached the members of his party after passing through several channels of sources.

After the party chairman's interview, PTI leader Naeemul Haque had tweeted: "Of course the 35 puncture story was political but also correct. Let Najam Sethi, Murtaza Poya,Dr Ijaz and US Ambassador come on TV on this."

On the other hand, PTI's senior leader Dr Arif Alvi came out with a different opinion on the matter.

Dr Alvi said it was "time to apologise for 35 punctures. Many rumours regarding source of information and content were afloat and I believed some of them."

Alvi and Naeem's difference of opinion.

"Naeem-ul-Haque believes the 35 puncture story is correct and he has some source of direct information which I don't," Dr Arif Alvi further said in a tweet.

When an observer asked Dr Alvi and Naeemul Haque to pick up the phone and sort their versions out, Dr Alvi tweeted saying: "Actually we picked up the phone and talked about it. Mr @naeemul_haque has the info but I don't."

Jahangir Tareen rejected Dr Alvi's apology remarks, saying they might have been his (Dr Alvi's) own point of view. Speaking to journalists after attending a session of the judicial commission, he said the party would not apologise and added that there were 71 punctures and not just 35.

The issue of '35 punctures' came to light in Feb 2014 after a PTI leader tweeted on the matter, followed by others.

The tweets alleged that on the night of May 13, 2013, Najam Sethi had called Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) party chief (and the current prime minister) Nawaz Sharif and had assured him that the “35 punctures” had been fixed.

PTI leaders had at the time said that the information had come from an envoy associated with the US government.

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