Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan have called for peaceful protests tonight against the outcomes of the Chief Minister (CM) Hamza Shahbaz’s ‘surprising’ victory in Punjab.
The PTI chairman was addressing the public after Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N’s) candidate Hamza Shahbaz retained the post of Punjab CM against Pervez Elahi in the run-off election held in the Punjab Assembly.
Hamza’s victory was secured after the deputy speaker rejected Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q’s) 10 votes.
He was surprised by the happenings in the Punjab Assembly today. “Everyone is now looking to the Supreme Court (SC). Parliament has the power of morality, not the army, democracy is based on morality.”
Khan also lashed at Asif Zardari, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader, charged with allegations of ‘horse-trading’ ahead of the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) election.
“Asif Zardari, the famous bandit of the country, has been robbing the country for thirty years. Funeral of democracy is taken out by Zardari when he uses the money of people of Sindh to buy souls,” said the former PM.
He criticised that strict action would be taken against the horse-trading of lawmakers in any other society. “I want to appeal to the nation to record their peaceful protest against the Punjab Assembly developments tonight.”
Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz was reelected as the chief minister (CM) of Punjab after the votes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) were rejected by the Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker.
Pervaiz Elahi – joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q – received 186 votes, while Hamza Shahbaz got 179 votes. However, 10 votes of PML-Q were cancelled by Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, hence taking the figure to 176.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan Foreign Minister and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi also lambasted the decision of the Deputy Speaker.
“Absolute farce in Punjab but what can one expect from this corrupt govt who continues to go to any lengths to stay in power, even if it means the people of Pakistan suffer. This ruling is against the Constitution & rejection of people’s voice. We are going to the Supreme Court for justice,” said Qureshi.
The PTI chief said that no action was taken against the horse-trading of lawmakers during the last Senate polls despite the footage of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son having surfaced.
“We have defeated the state machinery, all political parties and the corrupt election commission. When this CM Punjab election was underway, Asif Ali Zardari was present in the province. I was fully aware of the trade of consciences by Zardari by using the stolen public funds.”
“These people are mafias, not politicians. I am surprised after witnessing what happened in the Punjab Assembly today despite the clear direction of Article 63A which defines the enforcement of the parliamentary party’s decision. PTI had also sent the letter against the 25 turncoats through the parliamentary leader.”
Imran Khan censured that he does not know the eligibility of the Punjab Assembly’s deputy speaker as his letter was rejected by the parliament but Dost Mazari used a letter in favour of Hamza Shahbaz.
Khan said that PTI remained peaceful despite the illegal use of power by the government on May 25. He added that PTI ran a successful election campaign during Punjab by-polls and the nation voted for the political party.
The PTI chief said that the nation was angry after the imposition of corrupt rulers, back-to-back crises and destruction of the national economy.
“Economic crisis is going to increase by what happened today. Today I want that my Nation registers a protest against this Zulm! All eyes are on Supreme Court, article 63- is clear,” he said.
Khan also talked about the alleged “foreign conspiracy” which led to the downfall of his government
“My government was overthrown by foreign conspiracy and the people came out. We were brutally tortured but our movement continued peacefully and the people came out in the by-elections which was a historic thing,” said Imran Khan.
Meanwhile, Protests in different cities of the country against the illegal bulldozing of majority voting rights in the Punjab Assembly erupted at the call of Imran Khan in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur and Gujrat.
“Once again the mandate of the people was killed. The law was openly violated. People reached Lahore Liberty Chowk,” PTI tweeted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)