PTI’s Omar Ayub, Aslam Iqbal ‘in hiding’ nominated as PM, Punjab CM

Gohar rules out power-sharing with PML-N, PPP, MQM-P n Announces peaceful protests across country tomorrow against alleged vote-rigging n Asad Qaiser says Imran has assigned him to engage with JUI-F, ANP, QWP n Imran urges US to clean its past by keeping an eye on rigging in Pakistan’s elections: Saif n Aslam Iqbal declared PO in May 9 case.


ISLAMBAD/LAHORE  -  Following the split man­date in the general elec­tions held on February 8, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday nomi­nated party loyalists Omar Ayub Khan and Mian Aslam Iqbal for the slots of Prime Minister and Punjab Chief Minis­ter respectively.

The party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan also nominated Aqibullah Khan, brother of former speaker Na­tional Assembly Asad Qaiser, for the position of speaker Khyber Pak­htunkhwa (KP) Assem­bly where it has a two-third majority. 

PTI also announced that it will nominate a candidate for the posi­tion of Balochistan CM after consulting the local party leader Salar Khan Kakar. The party actual­ly first nominated Salar for the slot but later is­sued a clarification after coming to know that he is not a member of the provincial legislature. 

In another major de­velopment, PTI also decided to open talks with its arch rival Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in a move to forge a political alliance against its opponents. However, the party refuted media claims about its back­door contacts with Paki­stan Peoples Party (PPP) to form a government in the Centre.

PTI-backed independents have got a lion’s share in the Na­tional Assembly as they are in the lead followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

All these developments came after PTI leaders including Go­har Ali Khan and Asad Qais­er held a number of meetings with imprisoned ex-premier and party founder Imran Khan in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

While speaking to reporters outside the jail following his meeting, Gohar said that Khan had picked Omar, who is in hid­ing after he was booked in sev­eral cases following May 9 riots, for the slot of PM and Aslam for CM Punjab position. Aslam was declared as proclaimed offend­er by Lahore anti-terrorism court on Thursday. 

Gohar said the PTI’s nomina­tions for the National Assem­bly speaker and deputy speak­er would be announced in the upcoming days. PTI leader Go­har further said that the par­ty would not engage in pow­er-sharing with the PML-N, PPP and MQM-P. Imran Khan has clearly said that the politics of PTI was not for power-sharing but for the public, he said. 

“We will do strong opposi­tion until our full mandate is returned,” he said, adding that PTI was in the position to form governments in the Centre, Punjab and KP. He claimed that PTI actually had won 180 seats but its mandate was stolen. He appealed to the Election Com­mission of Pakistan (ECP) and the judiciary to decide appeals of the party against rigging in 70 constituencies.

Gohar announced that PTI would hold a peaceful protest across the country on Satur­day after (February 17) against widespread rigging. He further said that PTI was being mar­ginalized and the power being handed over to PML-N which has “zero credibility”

Gohar invited all other politi­cal parties to join the PTI protest and named JUI-F, Grand Demo­cratic Alliance, Jamaat-i-Islami, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and Awami National Party.

In response to a question, he refuted reports about contacts with the PPP and about forming a coalition with the PTI-Parlia­mentarians.

PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat talking on the occasion indicat­ed that PTI would finally hold a sit-in in Islamabad to protest against rigging.

Earlier in the day, PTI leader Asad Qaiser in his media inter­action outside the jail said the incarcerated party leader had assigned him to engage with all those political parties protesting the election results. He referred to JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Reh­man, Awami National Party (ANP) and Qaumi Watan Party.

I would myself reach out to these political parties to invite them to join the PTI protest against rigging, he added.

He also made it clear that PTI-backed winning candi­dates would not resign from the assemblies in any condition. “They would sit in the assem­blies,” he added. 

PTI leader and former Sen­ator Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif talking on the occasion said Khan had conveyed a spe­cial message regarding the statement issued by the US on the general elections. 

“Imran Khan has sent a mes­sage that the US has a chance to clean its past by keeping an eye on rigging in Pakistan’s elections,” he said. He quoting Khan said that the US in the past had either supported dic­tators or the corrupt leaders and democracy was ridiculed by bringing such people.

“US should pressurize those involved in rigging instead of is­suing cosmetic statements,” he said.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday declared 11 Pa­kistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders proclaimed offend­ers (POs) in a case of torching a container at Kalma Chowk, during May 9 riots.

The leaders include Azam Khan Swati, Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi, Murad Saeed, Ham­mad Azhar, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Imtiaz Ahmad Sheikh, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, Musarrat Chee­ma and Jamshed Cheema.

ATC Judge Muhammad Naveed Iqbal passed the orders while al­lowing an application, filed by the police for the purpose.

The investigation officer had filed the application for declar­ing the PTI leaders proclaimed offenders, stating that hectic ef­forts were made for the arrest of the accused but they could not be arrested as they went into hiding to avoid arrest. He submitted that non-bailable ar­rest warrants had already been issued against the accused, but they failed to surrender to the law. He requested the court to declare the accused proclaimed offenders. Naseerabad police had registered a case against the PTI leaders.

Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday al­lowed attachment of moveable and immoveable properties of nine absconding Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders in a case of torching police vehi­cles near Rahat Bakery Chowk, during May 9 riots.

The leaders include Azam Khan Swati, Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi, Murad Saeed, Ham­mad Azhar, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Imtiaz Ahmad Sheikh, Hafiz Farhat Abbas, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, and Hamid Raza.

ATC Judge Muhammad Nav­eed Iqbal passed the orders on an application, filed by the po­lice for the purpose. The in­vestigation officer had submit­ted the application, stating that the accused were absconding to avoid arrest in the case. He pleaded with the court to allow attachment of properties of the accused. 

The Sarwar Road police had registered a case against the PTI leaders and workers for torching police vehicles near Rahat bakery in cantonment area on May 9.

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