The mainstream parties like the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have had massive campaigning while the PTI was stopped by police and intelligence agencies from doing any kind of campaign, mostly in Punjab.
Since the PTI candidates are contesting independently because the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to deprive it of its iconic election symbol cricket ‘bat’, some have withdrawn their candidature last minute in favour of the establishment-backed candidates.
PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan told this correspondent on Wednesday that in Thursday’s polls, the country is witnessing the worst-ever political engineering in the history of Pakistan to keep Khan’s party from winning the polls.
“It has been by all means is the worst ever political engineering through all phases of the elections to keep the PTI out of the election process and achieve the desired result,” Hasan said and added despite all this political engineering and atrocities against the PTI leaders and workers, Khan’s party is going to wing Thursday’s polls.
“A reign of terror has been unleashed on the party for the past 22 months under the ‘London Plan’ to dismantle PTI and remove its founding chairman Imran Khan from the political scene,” Hasan said.
He said the PTI leaders and workers were subjected to the worst state terrorism and barbarism after the “regime change conspiracy” of April 9, 2022.
“As soon as Sharifs and Zardaris were imposed on the nation, they instantly ended their corruption cases of whopping Rs 1,100 billion by exploiting the state institutions such as NAB and FIA cases. The PTI leaders and workers have been facing brutalities and inhumane acts since the May 25, 2022 long march,” he said.
“Our leaders and workers are still being subjected to illegal detentions, harassment and custodial torture, besides raids on their residences,” Hasan said and added the people have been deprived of their constitutional right to the franchise as the ECP at the behest of its “masters” stripped PTI of its electoral symbol, thus disenfranchising around 130 million voters.
Hasan said the people, through the power of their vote on February 8, will take revenge for every injustice being meted out to them.
The PTI spokesperson also posted a long appeal on his official X handle on Wednesday. Asking party supporters to remember that Khan is incarcerated “fighting the battle for restoring Pakistan’s dignity, honour & sovereignty & ensuring the welfare of its people,” and that he has “dedicated everything for that cause including his life,”, Hasan said: “As citizens of the country, we have a debt to pay.”
He also asked the supporters to use the vote to change the face of Pakistan “by dismantling a rotten system that has cast a vicious stranglehold on the country & its people” and exhorted that nothing should deter voters from going to the polling station.
Khan and his party have alleged there is no level playing field in the ongoing election process. The PTI leader has also blamed the powerful military establishment for preventing him from riding back to power.
The election body has stripped his party of the iconic cricket bat as the election symbol, rejected his nomination papers and those of other party leaders, at least one of his party leaders is killed during polling-related violence and the latest, a key candidate from Lahore indicted in a terrorism case.