Tuesday, February 13, 2024
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has claimed that the former ruling party, upon directions of its founder Imran Khan, will join hands with Majlis-e-Wahdat-Muslimeen (MWM) to form its governments in Centre and Punjab.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad on Tuesday, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said that the former prime minister, while ruling out the prospects of any talks with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), has directed the party to form a coalition with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over reserved seats.
"Those who have emerged victorious in the [February 8] polls, should be allowed to form the government as it is their right [do do so], he said while conveying Khan's message.
"I have been given the mandate [by Khan] to approach all political parties to continue the party's political struggle for democratic values with the exception of the PML-N, MQM-P and the PPP," Hasan added.
Other decisions ratified by the party founder include the nomination of Ali Amin Gandapur as the chief minister for KP, the holding of intra-party elections and the appointment of Amir Dogar as the party's chief whip in the National Assembly, Hasan added.
His remarks come as PTI-backed candidates have emerged as the largest group by winning over 90 National Assembly seats followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 75 and 54 seats, respectively.
In light of the fact that no party managed to succeed in securing a simple majority, the role of independent candidates has become even more important with both the PML-N and the PPP attempting to rope them in to strengthen their parliamentary positions.
The PTI's decision to join hands with the MWM — which has only secured one National Assembly seat — comes as its sponsored candidates, who have won 116 provincial assembly seats in Punjab, will have 72 hours to join a party once the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notifies their win.
In Punjab, the party would need to join hands with independent candidates and other parties to form the government in the largest province where currently the PML-N is in the lead with 137 seats.
Meanwhile, welcoming the development, MWM chief Allama Raja Nasir Abbas has said that the party would unconditionally accept the PTI founder's decisions.
In a separate statement made by PTI leader Barrister Gohar, the party would announce its candidates for prime ministership as well as Punjab's chief minister along with constitutional posts of KP and National Assembly's speaker and deputy speaker by Thursday.
Meanwhile, the move to join hands with the JI, which lost two more KP seats of PK-20 and PK-21 to the PTI-backed candidates, is primarily aimed at securing the quota for reserved seats — since the party lost its election symbol "bat" forcing its candidates to contest in an independent capacity — which is awarded concerning the seats secured by each party.
Earlier in the day, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, while addressing a press conference in the federal capital, said that the PTI-backed candidates "are welcome to form a government" if they can form a majority in the lower house of parliament.
Stressing that the party is ready to sit on the opposition benches, Shehbaz said: "We will accept them [PTI government] happily [however] If they fail to [form government] then we will use our constitutional and legal right."