Expressing his support for boycott of presidential polls, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Imran Khan on Friday said he personally supported the boycott of the presidential elections, however, the PTI had decided to contest the elections.
Addressing a news conference, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, flanked by party presidential candidate Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Pervez Khatak and other party leaders, said despite difference of opinion among party columns, his party had decided to be part of the elections.
Khan said the PTI would participate in the presidential elections as they did not want Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to have an “open goal”.
He said his party did not support the decision by the Supreme Court to hold the presidential polls earlier than scheduled, despite agreeing that it did not violate the constitution.
However, the PTI chairman said they supported and justified the point of view adopted by the Pakistan People’s Party and their allies, as less time had been given to the candidates for preparing for the contest.
“The PTI will participate in the presidential elections,” asserted Khan, adding that the decision was reached after extensive consultation within the party.
Terming the current regime a dark era in history of the country, he said the role of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s had not been independent.
The PTI chief was of the view that his party made many sacrifices for the independence of the judiciary and held number of long marches, however, there were a number of complaints against the judiciary.
“Elections that broke the records of rigging in the history of the country took place under this judiciary,” adding that his party would soon issue a white paper on rigging issues.
Khan said holding elections earlier gave them no time to put up a reasonable opposition.
Talking about PTI’s presidential candidate Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Khan said that he was a man of principles and would make a good president, as he avoided taking oath under the Provincial Constitution Ordinance (PCO).
Khan stressed that his party was contesting the presidential polls just because of the solid character of Wajihuddin Ahmed.
He also thanked the Jamat-e-Islami for their unconditional support for PTI candidate.
To a question, he said he would contact Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed as Sheikh was an experienced and seasoned politician.
Also, the PTI chairman warned the government of launching a series of protest after Eid if no investigation was launched into rigging in four constituencies.
Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed said, “A level playing field is not being given to political parties.”
Ahmed noted that after a detailed debate and to avoid the gesture of being friendly opposition, his party was not leaving the ground vacant for the PML-N and the decision had been made in the best national interest.
He said even though the Supreme Court did not violate the constitution by agreeing to hold the elections early, the Election Commission of Pakistan should have asked for a “30-day corridor”.
Ahmed said boycotting the presidential election was counterproductive.