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IMRAN Khan and Omar Ayub Khan shake hands after the former PML-N MNA from Haripur announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Saturday.—White Star
IMRAN Khan and Omar Ayub Khan shake hands after the former PML-N MNA from Haripur announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Saturday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Saturday lambasted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz for their anti-judiciary tirade during public meetings, asking them to stop this “game” of maligning the judiciary.

“The father-daughter duo really should stop trying to fool the nation by declaring repeatedly that they are going to Awam’s [people’s] court for justice. Everyone knows that in democracies people use their vote to elect their representatives, but it is the judiciary that must dispense justice,” the PTI chief wrote on his official page on Twitter.

“Sharifs are implying once one is voted into power, one becomes above the law of the land and beyond any accountability,” Mr Khan said, adding that “they should see how in South Africa, the African National Congress threw out its leader Zuma because of corruption charges against him. Israel’s Netanyahu, while being prime minister, is facing a police investigation against him for corruption”.

Says PTI will learn from Lodhran by-poll mistakes

CEC meeting

Presiding over a meeting of the PTI’s central executive committee (CEC), Mr Khan predicted that there would be a one-to-one contest between his party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N in the coming general elections as the Pakistan Peoples Party had been eliminated from Punjab.

According to a press release issued after the meeting, Mr Khan said they would learn from the mistakes they had committed during the recently held by-election in Lodhran where the PTI faced an unexpected defeat at the hands of the PML-N.

Mr Khan said the PTI’s parliamentary board would start functioning soon.

He said the party would continue to expose corruption of the rulers and soon more cases of corruption of the federal and Punjab governments would be made public.

Those who attended the meeting included the PTI’s vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, former secretary general Jahangir Tareen and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.

Omar Ayub

Meanwhile, former PML-N MNA from Haripur Omar Ayub Khan has joined the PTI.

Omar Ayub, the son of former National Assembly speaker Gohar Ayub, announced his decision to join the PTI during a meeting with the party chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s Banigala residence.

Pervez Khattak and Jahangir Tareen were also present on the occasion.

Omar Ayub, who is the grandson of Pakistan’s first military dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan, had served as minister of state for finance during the military regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf after winning the election for the first time in 2002. His mother had also been elected MNA on a reserved seat on the ticket of the PML-Q, the then king’s party, in 2002.

Later Mr Ayub joined the PML-N and contested election for the National Assembly seat (NA-19) but lost to the PTI’s Amir Zaman with a narrow margin. He challenged the results before a tribunal which ordered a re-election in a few polling stations after which Omar Ayub was declared winner. However, the PTI candidate filed a review petition before the Supreme Court which declared the whole election as null and void and ordered fresh polls in 2015.

Mr Ayub could not take part in the by-election due to the illness of his mother and the PML-N had to award ticket to Babar Nawaz Khan. However, the seat was won by the PTI.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Ayub said that he had no option but to join the PTI after Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi, during a public meeting in Haripur, announced that the PML-N had decided to award ticket to Babar Nawaz for NA-19 for the coming general elections. Following this development, he said, the local PTI leadership approached him and after lengthy negotiations he finally made up his mind to join the party.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2018