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January 17, 2013

PTI not to join Qadri’s protest

World

AFP
January 17, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided not to join Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s protest in Islamabad and supported fair and free elections under a neutral caretaker government and termed it the only way out of crisis the country is facing.
The PTI Political Strategy Committee which met Wednesday with Imran Khan in the chair reviewed the current situation of the country and decided that the party wouldn’t accept any delay in the general elections under a setup which shouldn’t reflect any influence of PPP and PML-N.
The meeting said that elections had become even more imperative because of the constitutional crisis in Balochistan, deteriorating law and order situation, Indian aggression and a deep sense of anger pervading the nation due to inflation, unemployment, power and gas loadshedding etc.
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Khan Tareen, Dr Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mehmood, Ahsen Rasheed, Abdul Aleem Khan and other attended the meeting. According to the committee, the Balochistan situation with a virtual genocide of the Shia community, the bodies in Peshawar and the continuing killings in Karachi were manifestations of the terrible state of affairs in the country.
The situation could only improve if fresh elections were held, the meeting said.Regarding Dr Qadri’s offer to PTI for joining the protest in Islamabad, the meeting reiterated its earlier stance that the party would consider it if it (PTI) was consulted over the issue previously. The meeting also took note of Nawaz Sharif’s press conference in which he said that he did not agree with PTI’s demand for the resignation of President Asif Zardari because in case he resigned the PPP would be able to elect its own person for another five years.
According to the committee, what the PML-N President Nawaz Sharif did not take into account was that as the head of a political party any election under Asif Zardari couldn’t be fair

because he was not a neutral person. The meeting said “the first demand of the PTI is immediate election which means that all the assemblies would seize to exist. This would mean that the Electoral College for the election of a new president would not exist and thus a new person couldn’t be elected. Thus his fear that PPP would be able to get another party member elected was unfounded, the meeting asserted.”
The Political Strategy Committee also repeated that the seven point agenda given by the party was a roadmap for free and fair election and asked its party workers to be ready for tsunami march in case conditions are not created for free and fair election.
The committee again expressed its apprehension that there would be a ‘deal’ during the formation of the caretaker government and warned that any collusion would be resisted through the power of the people.
Speaking on the occasion, Imran again warned that the nation was watching carefully how the caretaker government would be formed and it is an acid test for the government and the opposition.