PML-N respects tribunal’s verdict but has reservations: Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid Sunday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) respected the verdict of election tribunal ordering  repolling in NA-122 but had reservations.

Talking to media after attending a reception held in honour of PML-N workers and leaders who worked tirelessly to win NA-19 Haripur bye-elections, he said the verdict was biased as the tribunal did not deseat Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) member of the Punjab Assembly from a consituency falling under NA-122 while that of PML-N MPA had been deseated.

“We will move the Supreme Court for justice, whose verdict will be acceptable to us,” he added.

It was PML-N’s right according to law and the Constitution to seek justice from the superior judiciary and it would 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 Sardar 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 May-2013 general election.

He said PTI chief Imran Khan, who lost the polls, had filed a petition against Sardar Sadiq’s election on alleged anomalies and flimsy grounds.

Imran Khan, 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 a 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. The same story would be repeated if re-elections were held in the constituencies of Khawaja Saad Rafique and Ayaz Sadiq in Lahore, he added.

The minister said the PML-N was a democratic party and it had tradition to absorb difference of opinion. But on the other hand, there was dictatorship in the PTI. Imran’s stubborn attitude was 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 (r) Wajihuddin, who was the most respected person in the country, was issued a show-cause notice by Imran Khan, he added.

Similarly, he said, PTI leadership had no respect for party workers.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 PTI leaders wanted their personal publicity, which was evident from 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. That was why they put in extra efforts and won the difficult election of NA-19 with thumping majority. The party, he added, would win the 2018 general election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the same spirit.

He appreciated President PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pir Sabir Shah and his team for winning 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 Sarda Mushtaq also spoke on the occasion.

The reception was hosted by renowned social and political personality Hamid Mir.