Home Latest News PTI to Launch Nationwide Protests for ‘Stolen Mandate’: Asad Qaiser

PTI to Launch Nationwide Protests for ‘Stolen Mandate’: Asad Qaiser

Party leader claims they will ally with likeminded political forces to demand all institutions stay within limits prescribed by Constitution

by Staff Report

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Qaiser on Tuesday announced his party will launch a nationwide protest movement against the “theft” of its mandate by in the Feb. 8 elections.

“We will unite all political forces and launch a movement within the law and Constitution,” he told journalists in Islamabad, adding that they would “snatch” their rights through street agitation. “Our movement will continue and will bring together all political forces,” he claimed, maintaining the PTI would forge alliances with likeminded parties to secure its demands.

To a question, Qaiser stressed the movement would be “peaceful.” He said it would demand the ouster of the “fake government” led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The PTI has been inching toward a protest against alleged rigging during the Feb. 8 elections, as it maintains that an inordinate delay in announcing results was used to change results in favor of its opponents. Several other parties have voiced similar concerns, including allegations that their mandate was denied to favor the PTI, particularly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Thus far, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party have all indicated they agree that the results of the 2024 elections were manipulated but have yet to formally join the PTI for protests.

On Saturday, the PTI staged nationwide protests against alleged rigging, but the party was unable to attract large numbers, with several party workers who did not emerge detained by police. The party has also been protesting in the National Assembly, though has failed to make a significant impact, as the elections of the speaker, deputy speaker and prime minister have proceeded with few issues.

During his media conversation, Qaiser reiterated that the results of Form 45s and Form 47s contradicted each other in various constituencies, adding his party believed it secured 180 general seats in the Lower House. He also lamented the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision against allocating reserved seats for women and minorities to the Sunni Ittehad Council.

“Our first demand is that all institutions should stay within their limits according to the Constitution,” he said. “Judiciary should make independent decisions instead of coming under pressure,” continued, warning if prevailing conditions persisted, it could spark a “rebellion.” This is not a new warning from the PTI, which has been warning of “rebellions” since the ouster of party founder Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence in 2022.

“How can a fake P.M. take this country out of crisis?” he questioned. “We don’t consider Shehbaz Sharif a legitimate prime minister in any capacity. He himself knows he’s fake,” he said, reiterating commentary from the floor of the House.

Separately, PTI MNA Umair Niazi told media that Imran Khan had called for nationwide protests on March 10 (Sunday) against the ECP’s decision on reserved seats. “There will be a peaceful but strong protest on Sunday. Everyone should be ready,” PTI leader Hammad Azhar confirmed on X.

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