ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would repeat the history of Haripur by-polls in case of re-polling in NA-122 as he claimed that injustice was done to Sardar Ayaz Sadiq with respect to the Election Tribunal verdict.
He said, “The PML-N respects the verdict of the election tribunal ordering re-polling in NA-122 but has reservations.”
Talking to media persons after attending a reception held in the honour of PML-N workers and leaders who worked tirelessly to win the NA-19 Haripur by-elections, he said the verdict was biased as the tribunal did not de-seat the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) member of the Punjab Assembly from a constituency falling under NA-122 while the PML-N MPA had been de-seated.
“We will move the Supreme Court for justice, whose verdict will be acceptable to us,” he added. “It was the PML-N’s right according to law and the Constitution to seek justice from the superior judiciary and it will do so,” he added.
Pervaiz Rashid said the tribunal in its verdict did not mention any malpractice on the part of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, rather it specified some irregularities of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
He said Ayaz Sadiq or his voters could not be punished for the mistakes or malpractices of the ECP. The voters in NA-122, he added, used their right to franchise in a free, fair and transparent manner in the May-2013 general elections.
He said the PTI chief Imran Khan, who lost the polls, had filed a petition against Ayaz Sadiq’s election on alleged anomalies and flimsy grounds.
Imran, he said, could not justify the sit-in on the basis of tribunal’s decision on NA-122.
He said the PTI chief was not content with Umer Ayub’s victory from NA-19 with the margin of only 750 votes, but now he had to be satisfied with the defeat of his party candidate by a margin of 47,000 votes in re-polls. He said the same story would be repeated if re-elections were held in the constituencies of Khawaja Saad Rafique and Ayaz Sadiq in Lahore.
The minister said the PML-N was a democratic party and it had the tradition to absorb difference of opinion. But, on the other hand, he said, there was dictatorship in the PTI. “Imran’s stubborn attitude is the main reason behind the party’s defeat in elections,” he added.
He said Imran Khan had restricted his party leaders from issuing statements. “Justice (retd) Wajihuddin, who is the most respected person in the country, was issued a show-cause notice by Imran Khan,” he added.
Similarly, he said, the PTI leadership had no respect for party workers. He mentioned that in a public meeting at Multan during the election campaign of Aamir Dogar, Imran Khan enjoyed drinking mineral water without caring for a dying worker, who needed first aid but was being asked to listen to his speech. “Even no ambulance was provided for the worker,” he added.
He said all the PTI leaders wanted their personal publicity, which was evident from the party’s public meetings that everyone who mattered tried to be atop the container or stage.
He said the PML-N leadership respected party workers. He said the PML-N workers put in extra efforts and won the difficult election of NA-19 with thumping majority. The party, he added, would win the 2018 general elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the same spirit.
Pervaiz Rashid appreciated president PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pir Sabir Shah and his team for winning the NA-19 election.
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Political Affairs Dr Asif Kirmani, General Secretary PML-N KP Sajjad Bhaggra, former provincial minister Qazi Asad, Ayub Khan Afridi, MPA Raja Faisal Zaman, Habibullah Tareen, Umer Ayub and Sardar Mushtaq also spoke on the occasion.
The reception was hosted by renowned social and political personality Hamid Mir.