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PTI Rejects Speculation over ‘Secret’ Talks

Party chairman says PTI will stage peaceful protests on Friday against alleged rigging in by-polls

by Staff Report

File photo

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Gohar Ali Khan on Tuesday reiterated the party had not received any messages for dialogue, nor was it holding any secret talks with either its political opponents or the establishment.

According to Gohar, incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan has confirmed he was not contacted for any dialogue, rubbishing speculation that the party was mending ties with the establishment. “We will publicly confirm if we receive any invitation for talks,” added the PTI chairman to media outside Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

To a question, he said Khan did not believe in sharing power and would not make any alliance with parties that “stole” the PTI’s mandate. However, he added, the party would continue efforts for the rights of the people of Pakistan.

Summarizing the ongoing proceedings in the cipher case against Khan, Gohar said the prosecutor presented 21 witnesses who all recorded their testimonies. He complained that Khan’s lawyers were “not given a chance to present evidence in the 14-hour hearing.”

Reiterating the PTI’s criticism of Sunday’s by-elections, Gohar said the PTI founder had raised reservations over alleged rigging. He also alleged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not provide a level playing field to the PTI, adding returning officers (ROs) should have been of the judiciary. Lamenting the ECP had failed to conduct fair and free elections, he said the PTI would protest this on Friday.

The PTI chairman also reiterated demands for the Supreme Court to hear the party’s petitions regarding discrepancies between Form-45s and Form-47s, maintaining the party was fighting for its rights and was not against reconciliation.

Gohar also defended former first lady Bushra Bibi, maintaining cases were lodged against her solely to pressure the PTI founder. Expressing serious concerns about her health after a team of doctors with an ambulance visited the Bani Gala sub-jail to examine her, he maintained that Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the jail superintendent and other authorities would be responsible if anything happened to the Bibi.

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