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

In a video statement, Mr Qaiser, who unlike many of his peers did not quit the PTI in the aftermath of the May 9 violence, said there were “illegal and unlawful” crackdowns under way against the PTI and it was being deprived of its constitutional right 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.

Asking whether the alleged ploy to keep the party out of the upcoming elections would bring stability to the country, Mr Qaiser said it was people’s right 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.

“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.”

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2023

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