PTI leader Asad Qaiser on Saturday called for an end to what he called was ongoing “propaganda” against his party, and urged for “powerful quarters” to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

In a video statement, Qaiser, who unlike many of his peers did not leave the PTI in the aftermath of the May 9 violence, said: “The one-sided propaganda under way against the party and Imran Khan at this time, what do those in power and the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) group think? Do they think they can eliminate the PTI through such propaganda?

“It is their misunderstanding. The more negative propaganda they are doing, the more the PTI is becoming popular,” he said as he criticised the incumbent government’s performance and questioned whether it had managed to tackle inflation and improved governance during its tenure.

“Show us one sector in which we can say the PDM has shown [good] performance. These 14 months were the worst disaster that is why I want to say to the powerful sectors to have mercy on this country and ensure fair and free elections within constitutional provisions to save it from any harm.”

He said there were “illegal and unlawful” crackdowns under way against the PTI and it was being deprived of its constitutional right to freedom of expression and political activity within the law.

“Every day there are raids on the homes of our workers and senior leaders. There are stories from all over the province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) how the sanctity of houses is being besmirched, which from every angle is against the law and the Constitution,” he said.

Complaining that the law was being misused, he stressed the rule of law was important if the country’s rulers wanted it to progress.

“What crime has the PTI committed for which it is being deprived of its constitutional right and protection?” Qaiser questioned, further asking whether the alleged ploy to keep the party out of the upcoming elections would bring stability to the country.

He said it was the right of the people to bring a party into power or force it out, adding that only the nation would decide whether to bring the PTI chairman back to power or someone else.

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