Imran Khan won’t content December 2 intra-party polls, picks Gohar Khan for slot of PTI Chairmanship

PoliticsImran Khan won’t content December 2 intra-party polls, picks Gohar Khan for...
  • Imran Khan to return as chairman once his disqualification overturned: Zafar
  • Says decision made to pre-empt ECP’s any illegal, unconstitutional bids to deprive PTI of ‘bat’ symbol

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan nominated Barrister Gohar Khan, a member of his legal team, for the slot of the party’s chairman in a temporary arrangement, as he would not contest the upcoming intra-party polls to pre-empt any illegal or unconstitutional steps by the ECP to prevent the party from getting the bat as its poll symbol or cancel the nominations of its candidates.

The announcement was made by PTI senior leader Senator Barrister Ali Zafar during a press conference flanked by Barrister Gohar Khan and PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan here on Wednesday.


Talking to media, Barrister Ali Zafar announced that Chairman Imran Khan will not be contesting the intra-party polls scheduled for December 2 (Saturday) due to his legal problems, hence Gohar had been nominated for the slot of the party chairmanship in a temporary arrangement.

However, he declared that the party would challenge the ECP’s decision declaring the party’s intra-party polls, as the electoral watchdog decision of holding intra-party election within 20 days was illegal and unconstitutional.

The PTI senior leader said that Gohar was an appropriate pick for a caretaker chairmanship and with his nomination, they would realise that this was not a minus-one formula because he was Chairman PTI’s own nominee and was appropriate for the temporary arrangement they were implementing.

Barrister Ali Zafar said the chairmanship is temporary, as Khan would return as chairman of the party once his disqualification in the wake of the Toshakhana case is overturned, as there is no concept of PTI without Imran Khan.

The PTI senator made it clear: “PTI is Imran Khan and Imran Khan is PTI. PTI is nothing without Imran Khan. It doesn’t matter if you are the chairman on paper. The leader, and the continuous leader, is Imran Khan.”

Zafar said that the party had to overcome legal hurdles as well as implement the ECP’s illegal and unconstitutional order on holding intra-party polls which is why it was taking this step.

Barrister Ali Zafar said that the PTI Chairman had been convicted in the Toshakhana case, though the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended his three-year sentence, final decision had not yet been made.

The PTI Senator went on to say that a person could not be disqualified for failing to declare Toshakhana gifts; however, they took the decision to pre-empt any illegal or unconstitutional steps by the ECP to deprive the party of its electoral symbol bat or cancel the nominations of its candidates.

Barrister Ali Zafar noted that all these matters were discussed with PTI Chairman in the presence of other lawyers, adding that Imran Khan did not want to give the ECP any excuse for not giving the party the bat symbol in the next general elections.

Ali Zafar quoted PTI Chairman as saying, “The public is with us. We will win the elections when they happen. I want to take part in the general election. Intra-party polls hold no meaning for me. I want that the Toshkahana case is decided as soon as possible. When it is decided, I will contest intra-party polls as chairman.”

The PTI Senator He disclosed that Imran Khan had directed the party to hold intra-party polls and the decision was placed before the senior leadership, which, they had approved it.

However, Zafar contended that the question then arose about the candidates for the intra-party polls and the nominee for the chairman and names of several prominent personalities were discussed but all of them had been appointed to permanent positions within the party.

“It would not be appropriate to give them a temporary position. That is why we need someone who is not controversial and can play a role in this caretaker mode, this temporary arrangement,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Gohar said: “I am speechless. I do not have the words to thank my leader Imran Khan.”

Barrister Ali Zafar said that Imran Khan was the leader of the PTI whether he was in jail or whether he was free.

“Imran Khan was the leader and chairman, is the chairman and God willing will remain the chairman,” he said adding that he would handle the post as party chairman until Imran returned.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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