Sharp reaction to anti-ECP protests

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) offices against the alleged biased behaviour of the chief election commissioner (CEC) on Tuesday triggered harsh reactions from the two main political parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — as well as the commission itself.

Terming it blackmail, the ECP, PML-N and PPP accused PTI chairman Imran Khan of attacking state institutions to get decisions of his choice.

Responding to the PTI’s protest outside the ECP offices, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, at a press conference, reprimanded Imran Khan, telling him that no amount of threats, harassment, hooliganism, violence and attacks on the Election Commission could force the CEC to resign or hold snap elections.

She slammed the PTI’s rhetoric about the economic conditions and power shortages in the country.

“Those who were ruling the country two weeks back and were looting the people of Pakistan are now expressing concerns over conditions that had actually been created by them,” Ms Aurangzeb added.

“When the judiciary questioned the unconstitutional actions of his tyrannical rule, Imran Khan attacked the judiciary and the courts; now he was attacking the Election Commission and harassing the institution so that it does not reveal the truth about the PTI’s illegal foreign funding case that had been lying for the last eight years,” she added.

In reply to a query, she said cases of assets beyond means would be instituted against the former first lady’s front person Farah Gogi and Shahzad Akbar.

On the other hand, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said the PTI’s demonstrations outside the ECP offices were aimed at putting pressure on the institution.

“A day before hearing in the foreign funding case begins, the PTI staged protests outside the ECP offices to pressurize the constitutional body,” Ms Rehman said, adding that, “What does the PTI fear if it is not involved in illicit funding”.

She said it was strange that Imran Khan was protesting against the chief election commissioner who had been nominated by none other than the PTI itself.

Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri said the PTI chief would be in jail in the coming days as he had received foreign funding from India and Israel.

Meanwhile, PML-N leader and former federal minister Abid Sher Ali said Imran Khan had attacked ECP with his goons just to get a decision in his favor.

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