Imran not to contest intra-party polls, nominates Barrister Gohar for PTI chairman

Imran not to contest intra-party polls, nominates Barrister Gohar for PTI chairman

Islamabad (Web Desk): Senator Ali Zafar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday announced that Imran Khan will not contest intra-party elections for the slot of party chairman scheduled for December 2 (Saturday).

Speaking to the newsmen outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Islamabad, Zafar said that Barrister Gohar Khan had been nominated to run for the position.

The PTI leader's statement comes a day after the party found itself embroiled in fresh controversy after after lawyers who met Imran Khan confirmed his decision to opt out of the chairman race in the intra-party polls. However, the claim was soon after dismissed by party spokesperson asserting that no conclusion had been reached.

He said that the former premier will not participate in the elections till his conviction and subsequent disqualification in the Toshakhana cases was not overturned.

Maintaining that a person could not be disqualified for failing to declare Toshakhana gifts, Barrister Ali Zafar said that the party then had to see if the ECP would take any “illegal or unconstitutional” step that would prevent the party from getting the bat as its poll symbol or cancel the nominations of its candidates.

He noted that while Imran's Toshakhana sentence has been suspended but a “final decision” had not yet been made.

"All these matters were discussed with Imran in the presence of other lawyers," the PTI's senator said.

Zafar quoted Imran Khan as saying that he did not want to give the ECP any “excuse” for not giving the party the bat symbol in the upcoming general elections, rejecting the nomination of candidates or for not participating in the election.

"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 leader quoted Imran as saying.

Announcing Barrister Gohar Khan as the nominee for PTI chairman, Senator Ali Zafar said that the lawyer was an appropriate pick for a “temporary arrangement”.

"With Gohar's nomination, you will realise that this is not a minus-one formula, that this is not a coup. He is Imran Khan sahib's own nominee and is appropriate for the temporary arrangement we are doing," Zafar stated.

Earlier today, former premier's lawyer Latif Khosa rubbished reports on of any person other than Imran Khan being the PTI's chairman.

Speaking to media outside Adiala jail following the hearing of the £190 million settlement case, the senior lawyer said that there was no possibility of a 'minus-Imran' formula and all reports regarding this were false.

"There has neither been a decision on choosing a new chairman, nor will there be one,” Latif Khosa asserted, adding that the ECP decision on intra-party elections will be challenged in the high court.