ISLAMABAD: Almost all PTI-backed winning independent candidates of national and provincial assemblies submitted affidavits to the Election Commission on Wednesday, officially joining the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

As many as 89 MNAs, 85 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 106 members of the Punjab Assembly and nine members of the Sindh Assembly have submitted their affidavits.

The submission of affidavits proves the PTI’s claim that it had managed to win 93 NA seats, as three party leaders did not submit affidavits, including Omar Ayub Khan, Barrister Gohar Khan and Ali Amin Gandapur, while the notification of one candidate, Dawar Kundi, was yet to be issued by the ECP.

Mr Ayub and Mr Gohar deliberately did not file affidavits to become SIC members because they plan to contest PTI’s intra-party elections. Mr Gandapur also did not file the affidavit, as he has been nominated as the PTI’s candidate for the slot of KP chief minister.

Barrister Gohar, three others yet to sign up as they will oversee PTI intra-party polls; party says nation won’t accept ‘govt with stolen mandate’

PTI sources said that all the notified MNAs, apart from Mr Ayub and Mr Gohar, and MPAs have joined the SIC.

Two MNAs-elect, Chaudhry Ilyas and Brig (retired) Muhammad Aslam Ghumman, were missing, but their affidavits have also been submitted to the ECP. “We hope that we will get our due share from the reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies,” a party source said.

Meanwhile, the PTI has alleged that the PML-N and PPP are going to form the government with a stolen mandate and the nation would not accept the “PDM 2.0”.

It alleged the “regime change conspiracy” was backed by the chief election commissioner by making a mockery of the Constitution and law in the country.

A party spokesperson said a group “rejected by the nation” had gathered once again to stage a “drama” of PDM 2.0 in the country, which was unacceptable and intolerable.

He claimed that the nation had given a clear mandate to the PTI to form its government in Centre, Punjab and KP despite the incarceration of PTI founding chairman Imran Khan, the snatching of the party’s election symbol “bat”, and obstacles to carry out poll campaigns.

He claimed that as per Form-45s, the citizens had given the PTI an overwhelming majority of 180 seats in the National Assembly.

“It is high time we learned a lesson from history and respected the public mandate, as Pakistan had to go through a tragedy like the fall of Dhaka as a result of daylight poll fraud,” the party’s spokesperson said.

He alleged that the heirs of those who “dismembered Pakistan” were again active in facilitating the state’s efforts to trample on the public mandate.

However, he made it clear that people of Pakistan would not tolerate any attempt to make a mockery of the Constitution and democracy and the robbery of their votes. He vowed that PTI would resist all attempts to steal public mandate.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2024

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