• Ex-PM asks leaders to approach independents to form govt in Centre, Punjab, KP
• Tells candidates to hold protests in ‘rigged’ constituencies
• Gohar says PTI has no fight with anyone, wants to move on

ISLAMABAD: As its fou­nder apparently agr­eed to let bygones be byg­ones, the PTI on Saturday said it will form governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government in the Centre after the independent candidates backed by the Imran-led party secured a purported lead in the 2024 polls.

Speaking to reporters outside Adiala Jail on Sat­u­rday, PTI lawyer Umair Khan Niazi said PTI founder Imran Khan has decided to form the government in the Centre and in KP and Punjab provinces after the victory of his symbol-less party.

As per Mr Niazi — who is also the newly-elected MNA from Imran Khan’s hometown of Mianwali — the PTI leader has called on the powers-that-be not to let Nawaz Sharif form the coalition government because “this experiment did not work in the past”.

Mr Niazi said Mr Khan was ready to move on to end political instability and for the future of the country. The lawyer said the candidates of the PTI who were defeated through rigging have been asked by the party founder to take to the streets in their constituencies on Sunday to protest the apparent rigging.

In a bid to execute its plan to form the government, the PTI after a meeting of the core committee asked Umair Niazi to get in touch with party-backed candidates for a government at the federal level, while Ali Amin Gandapur and Mian Aslam Iqbal have been asked to appro­ach lawmakers-elect in KP and Punjab, respectively.

At a press conference addressed by PTI chairman Gohar Ali Khan alongside others in the federal capital, the PTI leaders hoped that President Arif Alvi would invite the party to form since it emerged as the “largest single party” following the elections.

It must be noted here that the president cannot invite a political party to form a government at this juncture. As per Article 91, the National Assembly shall meet on the twenty-first day following the day on which a general election to the assembly is held, unless sooner summoned by the president. After the election of the speaker and deputy speaker, the house will elect the leader of the house (prime minister). “The member elected…shall be called upon by the President to assume the office of Prime Minister…,” read clause four of Article 91.

Reservations on ECP role

During the presser, the PTI leader asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to prepare anew the results of the elections considering Form-45 initially issued.

“Khan sahab, who is in jail, said we won’t let slavery take hold. Now the whole situation is in front of you; people came out in droves on their leader’s call to vote for the PTI despite suppression,” he added.

Barrister Gohar claimed that the PTI had 170 seats and it would avail legal options to find out what happened to the final results, which faced an ordinate delay. He said it was the responsibility of the ECP to compile the results in a transparent manner, adding that as per the law, the contesting candidate, an election agent as well as an authorised observer needed to be present during the compilation process.

Mr Gohar said hurdles should not be created for the PTI in forming its government since it had a “clear majority” after allegedly securing victory on 170 National Assembly seats out of the 265 seats where elections were held.

“Out of these, 94 are those that the ECP is admitting and has issued Form-47,” Mr Gohar Khan maintained.

“PTI has clinched the victory on 39 NA seats out of the 45 in KP, which is historic and unprecedented,” he added.

The PTI leader claimed in 22 National Assembly constituencies, including three in Islamabad and four in Sindh, the PTI had won as per the Form-45 but there were apparent attempts to turn their victory into defeat.

It said that the PTI would make a political alliance soon to get its due share of the reserved seats and added that the final decision in this regard would be made soon.

“We have no quarrel with anyone; we want to move forward. We will proceed and form a government in accordance with the Constitution and the law,” Mr Gohar added. About Nawaz Sharif’s speech on Feb 9, the PTI leader said that the self-proclaimed prime minister had 50 seats in the National Assembly, but he still declared himself the prime minister.

“As per the law, the final result is extracted from Form 45 and we have received all the results,” he said, adding that the final results should be announced at the earliest or else the PTI would stage “peaceful but strong protests” outside the offices of the returning officers in the constituencies where results were either withheld or tampered.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2024

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