LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) head Dr Tahirul Qadri has said if Imran Khan strictly follows the commitments he made in his victory speech, his party will fully support him.

In a press release on Saturday, the PAT leader said Nawaz Sharif’s arrest and conviction had nothing to do with electoral process. He said the former prime minister was imprisoned over corruption, and now the PAT was awaiting arrest of PML-N president and ex-chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in Model Town massacre case.

He said Nawaz Sharif had not been convicted by a special court formed under any martial law regulations, rather he was tried under law of the land and the Constitution during the rule of his own party.

Mr Qadri said the MPL-N Quaid got ample opportunity of defense, but he failed to produce money-trail of his ill-gotten assets.

He said allegations of rigging were a “norm” in Pakistan’s politics, as every losing party levels such allegations. He wondered that this time the allegation was being leveled by a party that raised slogan of “Vote ko Izzat do” (respect people’s mandate). Nawaz League had so far produced no proof to support the rigging allegations, he added.

“If they (PML-N) had any solid proof, they must approach relevant institutions, instead of threatening to launch a movement against an elected government,” Mr Qadri said.

He said Pakistan was facing host of internal and external challenges, adding that an independent and effective foreign policy was imperative to ease meet many of these challenges.

He said because of lack of electoral reforms, the PAT did not participate in the elections, and this was high time to free state institutions of any interference, so they could function independently.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2018