Incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan has opted not to participate in the intra-party polls, choosing instead to endorse Barrister Gohar Khan for the position of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman to lead the party in the imminent general elections, according to a senior leader on Wednesday.
Barrister Ali Zafar confirmed that Chairman Imran Khan would abstain from the intra-party polls scheduled for December 2, and Barrister Gohar Khan had been proposed as the nominee for the party chairman position, as reported by Dawn newspaper.
This clarification follows a day of confusion within Imran Khan’s party, triggered by the dismissal of a statement from one of its senior leaders, who asserted that the incarcerated leader would not vie for the chairman’s post in the upcoming intra-party polls.
Imran Khan has been, is, and will continue to serve as the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf… I will fulfill my responsibilities until Mr. Khan returns,” affirmed Gohar Khan.
In line with the election commission’s stipulated 20-day timeframe to secure the ‘bat’ as its electoral symbol, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is gearing up for intra-party elections preceding the general elections scheduled for February 8.
Barrister Gohar Khan has been proposed as the candidate for PTI’s chairmanship, as announced by Senior Vice-President Sher Afzal Marwat on Tuesday. This declaration follows Mr. Khan, aged 71, reportedly deciding not to retain the top post due to legal complications as the party heads towards internal polls, as reported by Geo News.
While Mr. Khan remains incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail and is embroiled in multiple legal battles, the party is navigating the path forward.
In a previous communication on [specific date], the party staunchly refuted any “speculation” regarding the selection of a new party chairman.
The party’s Core Committee, convening on Monday, officially sanctioned the organization of intra-party polls within the mandated 20-day timeframe outlined by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Failure to comply with these directives could result in the forfeiture of the party’s bat symbol.
Mr. Khan, a former iconic international cricketer, is widely regarded as synonymous with the (cricket) bat.
This marks a significant milestone for the party as the nation approaches the upcoming general elections scheduled for February, signifying a crucial development in its political landscape.