The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf told the National Assembly on Monday that it never expected that the government would be wrapped up as a result of the report of poll inquiry commission.
It was the first time for a senior PTI leader to admit that his party knew that the commission would not invalidate the results of 2013 general elections.
PTI’s deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: “Let me say on oath that PTI’s only objective behind the setting up of the judicial commission was to highlight chronic operational flaws of the Election Commission of Pakistan, and not to derail democracy.” He was responding to objections raised by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar about PTI’s failure to accept the findings of the commission in its entirety.
Opening the debate, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah welcomed the fact that both the PTI and PML-N had accepted the commission’s findings. “It’s heartening to note that both sides have accepted the commission’s report, but as leader of the opposition I suggest the report must be laid before the house for a detailed discussion and its maximum utilisation for future elections.” Mr Dar accepted Mr Shah’s proposal before recalling the unusual circumstances which led to formation of the commission and how the PTI was not fully abiding by the memorandum of understanding it had reached with the government.
“I really felt regretful when the other day I saw PTI leaders Mr Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen, who themselves were the signatory of MoU, sitting on left and right of party chairman Imran Khan when at a press conference he insisted on his suspicions about the legality of general elections.” Mr Dar said that it was written in the MoU that in case the judicial commission declared the 2013 general elections as free and fair, all PTI allegations would stand withdrawn. He asked the PTI leadership to bury the hatchet, herald a new beginning and work for a better tomorrow.
Mr Qureshi, in a passionate speech, defended the PTI’s reaction to the commission’s report. “My leadership’s reaction was very natural because many in the PML-N distributed sweets after the report was made public. Yes, the report was against our expectations, but we accepted it and that’s why I am here and not protesting on roads.”