PTI gears up for election drive ‘commencing Jan 20’

“Workers should bear hardships and await victory on February 8,” PTI leader Gohar Khan says

Senior PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan (right) addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, on January 18, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Geo News
Senior PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan (right) addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, on January 18, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Geo News
  • PTI’s Gohar Khan tells workers to await victory on Feb 8.
  • Asks them to bear hardships in the lead-up to the election.
  • Says the PTI to launch a full-fledged election campaign.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to kick-start its election campaign on January 20 (Saturday), senior party leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan said, as the general polls approach fast.

The embattled PTI’s major rivals — the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — have already commenced nationwide campaigns and distributed tickets for national and provincial constituencies.

Founded by Imran Khan, the party rose to power in the centre in 2018 but was ousted in April 2022 via a no-confidence move. It has since been reeling from the back-to-back setbacks.

The party’s founder was jailed in May last year, its electoral symbol — a major voter driving force was taken away this month, and the party — PTI-Nazriati — with which it sought an alliance also backtracked from its commitment.

However, the party 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.

“The PTI will begin its full-fledged election campaign on Saturday […] workers should bear hardships till then and await victory on February 8. You are advised to focus on the election campaign,” Gohar said on Thursday while engaging with reporters in Rawalpindi.

About the distribution of tickets, as the party has not announced candidates for all the National Assembly seats, Gohar said they would be finalised tonight and a complete list of all party candidates would be issued tomorrow.

With the party already facing several hurdles on its road to election, intense infighting was witnessed as central spokesperson, Raoof Hasan, and Vice-President Sher Afzal Marwat levelled allegations against each other in recent days.

Marwat, who was campaigning in Karachi, was called back by the party on directions of incarcerated founder Khan through a notification. However, it seems that the party has resolved the issue.

“We will not need notifications from now on. He [Marwat] is always in contact with us. He went to Karachi; he will now go again to Sindh, Punjab, and KP,” Gohar said, vowing that the leader would lead a full-fledged election drive.

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