Pakistan News

Neutral umpires are vital for free and fair elections: Imran khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday discussed the caretaker government, stressing that umpires should be neutral.

Imran was addressing a press conference in Lahore alongside recently inducted party member Zulfiqar Khosa. The party has been at the centre of controversy for withdrawing its nomination of former bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa as Punjab caretaker chief minister.

“Our objective is transparent elections; after we suggest a name that becomes controversial should we turn it into an ego issue that we will continue to stand by the name just because we proposed it,” Imran said.

“It is necessary that the umpires should be neutral,” he said.

He further said that the candidates suggested by PTI were thought to conduct transparent elections.

“We later considered the public reaction to the candidate [too],” he said in an apparent reference to the party’s withdrawal of its nomination of Nasir Khosa.

“It is not imperative that the focus should be on PTI withdrawing a candidate’s name that it had suggested earlier; transparent elections should be the main focus,” he added.


Speaking about the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict announced earlier on Friday that nullified former foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif’s lifetime disqualification by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Imran said that his party had accepted the decision.

“We have accepted the verdict on Khawaja Asif’s disqualification,” he said.

“I just want to say one thing that [it is a point of concern] that a country’s foreign minister is an employee of a foreign company and is legally bound to work for that organisation for five days a week,” said Imran.

“This is an important matter that should be considered,” he said, adding that it was “only his comment” and could be considered “a fair comment”.

After a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, earlier today announced the verdict, Asif is now eligible to contest in the upcoming elections, which are scheduled to be held on July 25.

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