Following Imran Khan’s protest call against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and chief election commissioner, workers and leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) thronged the ECP office in Karachi on Thursday, and chanted slogans against the commission, its chief as well as the federal and Sindh governments.
The protesters gathered outside the ECP office at 4pm. Later, PTI leaders installed a large screen there to show Khan's live address. The rally management also showed some overseas Pakistanis on the screen who said they had sent money from aboard to support Khan’s cause and his party, and they would continue such financial assistance in the future.
Addressing the protesters, PTI Karachi President and Sindh MPA Bilal Ghaffar said Khan's call for protest had once again pulled the ground from the feet of the imported government. Criticising the ECP for delaying the local government elections and not allowing the overseas Pakistanis to vote, he said the commission had become a B party of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). The entire nation had rejected the biased decision of the ECP, which could not damage the PTI's popularity among the masses, he added.
Calling the ECP verdict in the prohibited funding case against the PTI a cowardly decision, Ghaffar said the companies of Pakistani donors of the PTI were declared foreign. He remarked that by participating in the protest, the people of Karachi had proved that they only supported an honest leader like Khan.
PTI Sindh President Ali Haider Zaidi also addressed the protest and said the PTI belonged to the public, which was why the overseas Pakistanis trusted it and sent it their money. The ECP took a decision against those who sent money to Pakistan but it had no courage to take action against those who sent money from Pakistan to make properties in foreign countries, he said.
Zaidi said the ECP office had become the headquarters of the PDM. “We will give money to Imran Khan again and again. I have been giving money to Imran Khan since 2002 by collecting funds aboard.”
Another PTI MPA, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, said Khan's government was terminated under a conspiracy hatched up by the United States. Khan managed to form a federal government after 22 years of struggle, and after the next general elections, the PTI would not only form the government in the Centre but also in all the provinces, he added.
The PDM wanted to stop Khan with false allegations of foreign funding but they would fail, Naqvi declared as he remarked that all the thieves had gathered forces to bring down Khan.
He accused the chief election commissioner of being biased. “Our protest will continue till the dismissal of the chief election commissioner.”
Former federal minister for maritime affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, who is the Sindh president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took a one-sided decision in the foreign funding case against the PTI.
Addressing a press conference at the Insaf House, he said the judiciary had directed the ECP to announce decisions in all the cases of prohibited funding of political parties but the commission also announced its verdict in the PTI case. “We will file a contempt of court petition against the election commissioner.”
The ECP chairman wanted to punish PTI Chairman Imran Khan because overseas Pakistanis donated money only to the PTI, Zaidi said. He went on to claim that after the ECP’s verdict against the PTI, the Pakistanis living abroad had increased their donations tothe party. The PTI leader said Murad Ali Shah's dual citizenship issue was still not resolved but Faisal Vawda was disqualified. He added that cases against Pakistan Peoples Party leaders Faryal Talpur and Shazia Marri were also yet to be decided.
The former federal minister also accused Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani's brother Farhan Ghani of being a drug dealer. The person who stole the country's money became the prime minister of Pakistan but the ECP had no courage to hold him accountable, he said. “I have never seen such a biased Election Commission”.
He went on to allege that Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon was spending Rs2 billion on advertisements for elections but no one was making him accountable. “We cleared the drains and handed them over to the Sindh government. We made the country and they destroyed. During the last three months, the ratio of poverty has increased. The middle class families are suffering. However, the current government is unable to handle the crisis,” Zaidi remarked.
He claimed that the PTI would participate in the general elections and defeat its rivals. He said the PTI’s objective was to end the rule of Zardari mafia, and the next government in Sindh would be of the PTI.
The PTI leader announced on the occasion that Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Ashraf Qureshi and Khurrum Sher Zaman were the PTI's mayoral candidates for Karachi and the final name would be decided by the party chairman.
Later, PTI leader and former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Jatoi said the entire country stood with Imran. “Murad Ali Shah has left nothing in the treasury. PPP has been involved in corruption in Sindh for the last 16 years.” Meanwhile, Naqvi said the Jamaat-e-Islami was running a campaign against him but that would not deter him from raising concerns over the issues of the people of Karachi.
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