PTI To Launch Election Campaign On January 20
A week subsequent to the loss of the election symbol, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, a leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), announced on Thursday that the party is set to initiate its election campaign on January 20 (Saturday).
In expressing his outlook on the party’s engagement in the impending elections, Khan articulated, “We will conduct the election campaign nationwide. The final list of candidates will be uploaded today.”
Touching upon the strained relations between Iran and Pakistan, Khan remarked, “The tension should not escalate with Iran. The entire nation is standing by the Pakistan Army.”
Earlier in the week, Gohar dismissed the possibility of a ban on PTI following the Supreme Court’s verdict that upheld the December 22 decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to strip PTI of its iconic ‘bat’ symbol.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Qazi Faez Isa, leading a three-member bench, delivered the verdict, dealing a significant setback to PTI’s aspirations of retaining its election symbol. Consequently, PTI candidates will now contest the elections independently with different electoral symbols, and the party no longer holds the right to reserved seats for women and minorities.
During an interview with a news channel, the senior lawyer emphasized that the loss of the iconic symbol does not equate to the dissolution of the party. He reiterated that PTI plans to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the verdict.
Gohar clarified that PTI would not immediately hold intra-party elections; instead, they intend to file a review appeal in the Supreme Court first. Furthermore, he stated that they have no objection to changing the bench of the Supreme Court or the chief justice.
He pointed out that PTI’s intra-party elections were conducted in accordance with the Constitution and in a transparent manner. Additionally, Gohar emphasized that they refrain from criticizing or expressing distrust in anyone within the judiciary, citing examples of PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as instances where they do not engage in campaigns against judges.