(CTN News) – Following the success of candidates with its support in the February 8 polls, the PTI announced on Friday that it had become the single largest party in the Centre and two provinces, vowing to reclaim its iconic emblem “bat”.
The party has decided not to sit on the opposition benches in the National Assembly, implying that it may form partnerships with other parties to secure a majority in the lower house of parliament.
An AI-generated statement on Imran Khan’s official X account, attributed to the former party president, thanked supporters for winning the 2024 general elections with a two-thirds majority. The message further repeated rigging charges, alleging that the party was winning “170 seats” based on Form 45.
Separately, Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan stated that the PTI had already begun the consultation process on its future course of action. However, he emphasised that physical meetings have been impossible because most elected candidates are either in prison or underground.
“We will soon conduct intra-party elections, after which the party will again approach the court to regain its symbol (bat),” Mr Hasan told Dawn.
Although he did not specify when the intra-party elections will occur, he stated that they “will be held soon.” Imran Khan has indicated that the party would organise intra-party elections shortly after the February 8 elections.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) directed the PTI to hold new intra-party elections last year, which they did. However, this decision was challenged by some unhappy PTI employees. Following a court struggle, the ECP nullified the elections, stripping the party of its electoral symbol, the ‘bat’.
Earlier, during a press conference, Mr Hasan praised the people for voting in record numbers for PTI-backed candidates against all obstacles.
AI-generated message from Imran ‘declares victory’ in 2024 polls
Chairman Imran Khan’s victory speech (AI version) after an unprecedented fightback from the nation that resulted in PTI’s landslide victory in General Elections 2024. pic.twitter.com/Z6GiLwCVCR
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 9, 2024
He cautioned that any attempt to disrupt the people’s vote would have “deadly consequences,” and that those in authority must learn to accept the people’s choice.
He recalled that the PTI had been facing the worst “reign of terror” and “fascism” for the last two years, following the overthrow of Khan’s government through a “regime change conspiracy,” as political space for them shrank constantly, preventing them from holding even a corner meeting, let alone a public gathering.
The PTI official lamented that when the results began to come in late on Thursday night and the trend clearly showed that the PTI was taking a clear lead in the Centre, KP, and Punjab, the “poll manipulators” first slowed down the process of announcing the results and then halted the process entirely to “tamper with the results”.
“PTI candidates were clearly winning with a huge margin in several constituencies, including Islamabad at night, but ironically, their clear victory was converted into defeat in the morning because political engineering was going on behind the scenes,” he said.
Lashing out at the ECP, he said the electoral watchdog’s role was always questionable, as its system failed at the last minute to “tamper with the poll results,” only to revive when the engineering process was completed.
He claimed that the PTI had emerged as a major political force in the Centre, KP, and Punjab but that efforts were being made to rig the results in the Centre and Punjab to build governments of their choice. “We will exercise all legal and constitutional rights to frustrate all bids to tamper with the election results.”
Mr Hasan stated that the PTI founder would never reach an agreement with the powers that be until democracy is truly established and accepted. He further stated that the PTI would employ legal and constitutional means to prevent the inappropriate “interference of non-political forces” in political issues.
He urged that those in positions of power quit their previous pattern of stealing public mandates to construct a weak administration since this would be neither sustainable nor capable of navigating the country out of the current crisis.
The PTI leader also called for an authorised commission to investigate the fraud in the February 8 elections to expose and hold those responsible accountable.
In response to another query, the PTI’s central communications secretary claimed that the party did not believe in revenge. He underlined a particular chapter in the PTI manifesto titled “wounds healing,” implying that the party would go to every length to heal the wounds inflicted on the country during the previous 75 years.