The former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan will contest for all 33 vacant seats in the National Assembly (NA) by-elections, scheduled to take place on March 16, party’s senior vice-president Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore after PTI’s core committee meeting, the former foreign minister said that Imran Khan will be the party’s candidate for all constituencies and former members of the National Assembly (MNAs), who were earlier elected for those seats will be covering candidates.

“The nation will give a clear message on March 16, as the people of Pakistan completely trusts in the leadership of Imran Khan and stand with the PTI,” Shah Mehmood said, adding that the people will also voice their reservations against the group that’s been imposed upon the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had released the schedule for by-polls on 33 National Assembly (NA) vacated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNAs.

The ECP has decided to hold by-polls on 33 NA seats on March 16, for which nomination papers can be received from February 6 to 8.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recently denotified 35 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs after the NA speaker accepted their resignations. NA speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of 113 PTI members last week in phases.

‘Delay in elections’

Speaking of the party’s core committee meeting in today’s press conference, Qureshi said that the participants discussed the country’s political and economic situation and chalked out an action plan in this regard.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi also voice concerned over the ‘delay’ in announcement of date for Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections, saying that the governors of both provinces would be defying the Constitution if they do not issue a date for the polls.

“The elections should be ensured within 90 days in line with the Constitution as it does not permit for an hour’s delay and we won’t stand it,” he added.

Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest

Condemning the arrest of party leader Fawad Chaudhry, the former minister urged Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial to take notice of ‘injustice’ with a former federal minister.

“There is no precedent for physical remand for three times in a single case”, Qureshi said, adding that those who criticized the Fawad Chaudhry in the past were also expressing sympathy.

It is pertinent to mention here that a judicial magistrate on Saturday granted police two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry, who was arrested for ‘threatening’ members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

According to details, Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja accepted the police’s request for an extension in Fawad Chaudhry’s physical remand, sending the former information minister on two-day physical remand.

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