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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 22, 2021

20 KP lawmakers remain absent from meeting chaired by PM Imran Khan: sources

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Twenty lawmakers of the PTI from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly remained absent from a meeting chaired by PM Imran Khan on Monday, according to sources. 

The prime minister visited the city today after the PTI suffered an upset in the recently-held Nowshera by-election, where the PML-N candidate won from the PTI stronghold.

Reports had emerged that the PTI had lost the election due to internal party rifts as Defence Minister Pervez Khattak's brother had reportedly been miffed with the party leadership after his son was not given the ticket to contest the election.

A resolution backing the party's Senate candidates was passed with consensus during the meeting, said Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information, Kamran Bangash.

He said that the prime minister was briefed in detail about the party's recent loss in the Nowshera by-election, claiming that the PML-N had adopted "modern methods" to rig the polls.

"There is a difference of 6,000-7,000 in forms 45 and 46," alleged Bangash, adding that the PML-N had brought in experts to rig the polls.

He said that the prime minister had been told that the party intends to move the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the election's results, adding that the PTI will get the winning candidate, Ikhtiyar Wali, disqualified.

"We will never let the people's mandate be stolen," he said.

Sources confirmed that 20 lawmakers-- 14 MNAs and six MPAs-- remained absent from the meeting chaired by the prime minister.

The lawmakers did not attend the meeting due to preoccupations and various other reasons, said the sources.

During the meeting, the prime minister categorically told lawmakers that whoever wanted to sell his/her vote in the upcoming Senate elections should leave the party.

"Everyone gets to know about the MPA who sells his/her vote," he reportedly said.

The prime minister spoke about the previous Senate elections, saying that some MPAs of the party had then sold their votes for money, adding that he had dismissed them from the party after finding out about it.

"The Opposition is afraid that the PTI will secure a majority in the Senate," he was quoted as saying by sources.

The prime minister recalled during the meeting that his party had always campaigned for transparent elections, adding that the government has, in the same spirit, supported the demand for open balloting in the Senate elections.

Speaking on the Daska by-election, the prime minister reportedly said that the PTI candidate should request repolling for polling stations in NA-75.