Martial law not the solution for Pakistan’s problems: Imran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has stressed that his party did not believe that martial law was the solution to Pakistan’s problems.

Addressing a news conference, Imran Khan accused former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice (retd) Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Najam Sethi, Justice (retd) Riaz Kayani and Anwar Mehboob as the key players behind rigging in the 2013 general elections.

Imran Khan made it clear that PTI’s position was clear on the ‘Azadi March’ and asked Dr Tahirul Qadri to ensure that the ‘inquilab march’ was peaceful. He appealed to the Punjab police and bureaucracy to save the country.

Election Rigging

Imran Khan accused former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice (retd) Ramday of involvement in election rigging and said Najam Sethi was the third player.

According to Imran Khan Justice (retd) Ramday had invited Returning Offices (ROs) to dinners where the CJ Chaudhry was the chief guest and expressed that Nawaz Sharif was the best option. Khan alleged that Justice (retd) Ramday was behind Nawaz Sharif’s victory speech to influence ROs. Khan said for Justice (retd) Ramday’s role his sons were rewarded as Mustafa Ramday was appointed Advocate General while Asad Ramday was the MNA from Toba Tek Singh. A niece of Justice (retd) Ramday was elected on a reserved seat.

Khan refereed to former CJP Chaudhry as the opening batsman for the PML-N. He claimed that Hazil Bizenjo had admitted that the former chief justice had asked that his son Arsalan Iftikhar be appointed as Vice Chairman Balochistan Investment Board. Speaking to Geo News, Hazil Bizenjo denied this claim and said he was not spoken or met the former CJP since his restoration. Khan further claimed that the former CJP had been giving political statements in favour of the PML-N

Referring to Najam Sethi, Khan said he had been rewarded for the ’35 punctures’ and his tax had been waived. Sethi spoke to Geo News and dismissed Imran’s allegations. Najam Sethi who had earlier been accused by Khan of being given the PCB chairmanship as a reward said that this was not the case. Sethi said the post of PCB chairman was not a reward but could rather be considered punishment. Sethi also said that not one rupee of his tax had been waived.

Khan said he had been informed that Justice (retd) Riaz Kayani who was the provincial commissioner ECP was playing the PML-N’s game. In a statement Justice (retd) Kayani called Khan’s allegations baseless.

The PTI chief also said Punjab Election Commissioner Anwar Mehboob had been transferred from Sindh in violation of ECP rules. Khan said Mehboob had printed new ballot papers on what he said were orders received from the top. Khan claimed that ballot papers for the 2013 elections were printed somewhere else and not the Pakistan Printing Press. The extra ballot papers were needed for five divisions which had 98 NA seats and a local printer in Lahore had admitted that extra ballot papers were printed.

Azadi March

Imran Khan said the ‘Azadi March’ on August 14 would be peaceful as he called for those behind election rigging to be held accountable.

The PTI chairman appealed to Dr Tahiul Qadri and other political parties to join the protest. Imran said he would try to bring Dr Qadri on the PTI’s agenda and tell him revolution can only take place through free and fair elections.