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Imran warns Nawaz not to use parliament against judiciary

Updated February 21, 2018


Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan talks to the media at the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.—White Star
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan talks to the media at the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.—White Star

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will form the next government, said party chief Imran Khan on Tuesday, warning his rival, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, not to use parliament against the judiciary.

“If parliament is used against the judiciary, then the masses will come out on the streets,” he said while talking to the media after inaugurating a pavilion at a cricket stadium.

Mr Khan, who announced his third marriage on Sunday, arrived in the provincial capital for a short visit and to attend the pavilion’s inauguration at the stadium. He was accompanied by ministers and party workers.

He said that Mr Sharif would have to give an answer about the Rs300 billion he stole and transferred abroad through illegal channels. The PTI chief added that he was optimistic about the PTI’s victory in the next general election.

NAB investigation

He welcomed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigations against him for the “unauthorised” use of official helicopters of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

NAB recently announced that it would look into the matter of two choppers of the KP government being used for Mr Khan’s personal use.

The PTI chief denied having used the provincial government’s helicopters for his personal trip and said: “I never used the KP government’s choppers [not even] for a minute.”

Senate elections

Responding to a question about the upcoming Senate elections, he said: “The party’s MPAs are supporting us and all six candidates of the PTI will win the polls from the KP assembly.”

He added that he would meet the PTI lawmakers ahead of the Senate elections to discuss their plan for polling day.

Discussing monetary incentives used in the polls, Mr Khan said that he had heard about offers being made to lawmakers in the Senate elections.

“If a person can offer Rs400 million to me for giving them a Senate ticket, the same person or others can offer money to other MPAs too,” he said without mentioning who had made him the offer.

He said that PTI workers would not let their MPAs sell their votes in the Senate elections scheduled for March 3. He added that PTI workers would besiege the house of any MPA who tried to do so.

“I am confident that the MPAs will remain loyal to the party in the Senate polls,” he said, adding that the PTI would introduce direct elections for the Senate to discourage horse-trading and bribes.

According to Mr Khan, the PTI would scrap the existing indirect election if it came to power. He said that the US model would be followed and senators would be elected directly.

Cricket ground

The PTI chairman said that the Arbab Niaz Cricket Ground in Peshawar would be upgraded to the international standard. He explained that KP had enormous talent for cricket and the government was making efforts to promote sports. He added that the provincial government had established 100 sports grounds across the province and there was a need for more facilities.

Syed Irfan Raza in Islamabad adds: ThePTI has called an important meeting of its parliamentary party on Wednesday (today) to chalk out the party’s future line of action on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s remarks about the judiciary’s behaviour and the decisions which will be discussed in parliament.

“The PTI chairman will preside over the meeting which will be attended by party members from both upper and lower houses of parliament. They will analyse the recent address of the incumbent prime minister to the National Assembly,” a PTI spokesman said.

“Future course of action of the PTI in parliament will also be framed. Moreover, the efforts of the ruling party to amend the Constitution will be evaluated in a detailed manner,” he added.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2018