PTI Postpones Intra-Party Polls on Imran Khan’s Advice

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to postpone its intra-party elections, which were scheduled for February 5, on the advice of its founder and former prime minister Imran Khan.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan announced the decision on Friday, saying that Imran Khan had directed the party to concentrate on the upcoming general elections, which are due on February 8.

“Intra-party elections can divert the attention of candidates and voters from the general elections, which are crucial for the future of the country and the party,” Imran Khan said in a statement.

The PTI chief also said that the party was facing legal challenges from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had denied the party its traditional electoral symbol of “bat” following a petition by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar.

Babar had challenged the validity of the previous intra-party elections held in December 2020, in which Imran Khan had nominated his lawyer Barrister Gohar Khan as his successor and the party’s new chairman.

Babar had alleged that the intra-party polls were rigged and violated the party’s constitution and the ECP’s rules. He had demanded that the ECP order the PTI to conduct fresh and transparent intra-party elections.

The ECP had accepted Babar’s petition and declared the PTI’s intra-party elections null and void, stripping the party of its “bat” symbol. The PTI had challenged the ECP’s decision in the Peshawar High Court, which had upheld the ECP’s verdict. The PTI had then appealed to the Supreme Court, which had also dismissed the PTI’s plea.

The PTI had announced on Thursday that it would hold new intra-party elections on February 5, and had appointed its spokesperson Raoof Hasan as the federal election commissioner for the polls.

However, the party changed its plan on Friday after Imran Khan’s intervention, and decided to defer the intra-party elections until after the general elections.

The PTI is hoping to win the general elections and form the next government. The party claims to have the support of the masses and the military, and promises to bring about a “new Pakistan” with reforms and accountability.

The PTI is facing a tough competition from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The PTI also blames the PML-N for the current political instability and violence in the country, and vows to restore peace and prosperity.

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