Caretaker govt, ECP ‘trying everything’ to give Nawaz two-third majority in polls: Aitzaz

LAHORE: Veteran politician and senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan on Saturday claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker government were ‘trying every possible way and thing’ to ensure Nawaz Sharif wins a two-thirds majority in next year’s general elections.

“The way things are going, they are trying to give Mian Sahib a two-thirds majority. The election commission, the administration and the caretakers [are in this]. However, it will not be easy,” Aitzaz Ahsan said in an interview on a private TV channel on Friday night.

Ahsan said Nawaz being prime minister was a forgone conclusion. “He already is prime minister. Today he’s getting the protocol of a prime minister. He has become PM for the fourth time. Now the rest of it is ceremonial.

“However, if there is a level playing field, PML-N will have a very minor part in the next [National] Assembly.”

He also called PML-N a ladla — favoured one. “PML-N has been given special treatment. [Nawaz] was in London for four years; has any prisoner or criminal been granted such permission? He [Nawaz] said he’d be gone for weeks.

“And the man [Shehbaz] who gave guarantees for him became the prime minister.

“Muslim League Noon are not just ladlay, they are ladla plus.”

Bat symbol

He also spoke about PTI’s attempts to retain its bat symbol for the upcoming general elections.

“There are several options they have — which I won’t be able to delve into — because I have shared them with my associate [PTI chairman] Gauhar Khan.”

He said even if the bat symbol is stripped from the PTI, “the bat symbol can come through other ways.

He said those who think they can “eliminate” parties, have forgotten how despite hanging Zulfikar Bhutto, the PPP came into power three times. “There can be no elimination. Benazir Bhutto was martyred. She has left this world. In that same year, her party came into power with a party prime minister and president.”

The embattled PTI has asked the ECP to immediately allot it the “bat” as its electoral symbol for the upcoming general elections.

The party, which has complained of the lack of a level playing field, termed the delay in issuance of the electoral symbol “unjusti­fiable” and “intolerable”.

Previously, PTI spokesperson had urged the watchdog to promptly release detailed decision in line with the verbal order given on Aug 30, as it had no legal and constitutional justification to withhold the party’s electoral symbol.

The spokesman made it clear that the concept of free, fair and transparent polls “without the largest and most formidable political force of the country was a farce”.

He added that the “conspiracy to keep PTI out of the electoral arena on the state-mandated and unkn­own technical grou­nds” was akin to an attack on the Constitution and political system of the country.



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