ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Thursday decided not to challenge the verdicts of election tribunals deseating its legislators in NA-122 Lahore and NA-154 Lodhran and to contest Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in by-elections.
Talking to newsmen, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the party would certainly seek legal remedies to keep the record straight, but the decision to contest by-polls was taken to give tough time to the PTI.
PTI chief Imran Khan was “trying to flee” from elections but the PML-N leadership had decided not to give him any way out, he added.
The minister said Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would face the PTI in the by-election and inflict a heavy defeat. The party, however, decided to challenge the tribunal’s verdict in the Supreme Court to keep the record straight. No stay order would be sought, he added.
He said the PML-N wanted to go to the “court of people” and challenge the PTI, both legally and politically. Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen would not be allowed to flee from elections.
They would have to contest the polls. They had already wasted two precious years of the nation due to their “negative politics” and they would not be allowed to do so now, he added.
The minister said Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would repeat the history of NA-19 Haripur, when PTI candidate was defeated with the heavy margin of 47,000 votes. Similarly, Jehangir Tareen would also meet the same fate in Lodhran, he added.
He said the PML-N had won all the by-elections with heavy margins from the PTI candidates since the sit-ins ended in December last year.
Pervaiz Rashid said that Imran Khan and Jehangir were planning to hold agitation against Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a bid to escape from by-polls.
He said Imran Khan should at least muster courage to contest the elections, but he was expert at hatching conspiracies to spread anarchy in the country. The agitation against the ECP, if held, would also fail like the sit-ins, he added.
He said the PTI chief was face defeat as voters would stamp on the symbol of “Lion.” in the two constituencies of Lodhran and Lahore. That was why he was avoiding to go to polls, he added.
He said Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique was abroad and the matter was already in the court therefore the decision in this connection would be taken on his return. The election tribunal’s verdict on ordering replloing in his constituency had already been stayed by the Supreme Court.
He said the government had started operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists while Imran Khan was engaged in destabilizing the country through his “negative politics” and sit-ins.
The minister recalled that in 2002 elections, Imran Khan could only won one seat, that also from Mianwali, despite patronage of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf while the country’s main political leadership, including Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Ms Benazir Bhutto and Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif were not in the field.
Responding to a question, the minister said the government was waiting for the reply of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) and details of talks with them were also in the knowledge of the Prime Minister.