ANI Photo | Start election campaigns or lose tickets, Imran Khan warns party candidates

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan warned his party candidates to launch their election campaigns or their tickets to contest the February 8 election will be taken back, Geo News reported.
Imran Khan, who is presently in the Adiala Jail, said that if the election campaigns did not begin soon, the tickets would be replaced with others.
He made these comments while talking to the media informally in the Adiala jail courtroom.
The party’s founder was jailed in May last year, and its electoral ‘bat’ symbol, a major voter driving force was taken away this month. Furthermore, the party, PTI-Nazriati, with which it sought an alliance also backtracked from its commitment.
However, the PTI has vowed not to boycott the polls and run without its iconic electoral symbol. Since the ‘bat’ symbol has been taken away, all its candidates will be running with different signs.
Geo News reported that Khan further said that the former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and a witness in the cypher case, Asad Majeed, had recommended sending a demarche to an official meeting after the diplomatic cable was received.
“Shah Mahmood Qureshi found the cypher by chance. It was for General (retd.) Bajwa. Every effort was made to suppress the cypher. My government was overthrown three weeks after it. If there was no such thing in the cypher, why was the demarche sent? Does anyone send it to America?” he added.
He claimed that in October 2021, General (retd.) Bajwa had hired Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, without his knowledge. He alleged, “Haqqani was given USD 35,000. He tweeted that Imran is against America while Bajwa is in its favour.”
The former premier said his party members were not being allowed to hold election campaigns. “Elections should be held on February 8 anyway,” he added, Geo News reported.
Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Qureshi said that he wanted to thank senior politician Javed Hashmi for speaking the truth.
Hashmi announced stepping out of the election race and withdrawing in favour of PTI-backed Aamir Dogar, who will contest the February 8 polls from the NA-149 constituency.
“I am throwing my political weight behind the Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan and withdrawing from the elections,” Hashmi, who has been a part of the PTI and its arch-rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Qureshi said that the cypher was only for the secretary to see, and the National Security Committee (NSC) accepted political interference.

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