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He said the decision to join the SIC was made to get reserved seats as they were only allotted to political parties, which would further increase the strength of the PTI.

Feb 20, 2024 - 17:51
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ISLAMABAD/ PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is making intense efforts to stay central in parliamentary business by taking some practical measures to secure reserved seats for women and minorities in the assemblies for the party.

On Monday, it clinched a deal with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and announced that the PTI-backed returned independents would join the religio-political party in Centre as well as provinces to get its share of reserved seats.

PTI senior leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan announced that the PTI-backed independent returned candidates would formally join the SIC in the National Assembly and provinces including Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in order to get share of the reserved seats.

He was addressing a news conference here along with Omar Ayub, who is the PTI nominee for the PM slot, SIC head Sahibzada Hamid Raza, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) Secretary General Allama Raja Nasir Abbas, and PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan.

Gohar said the party-backed independents, who emerged victorious on the National Assembly, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies’ seats, would join the SIC as a party. He explained that after the approval of PTI founding chairman Imran Khan, the agreement had been reached with the SIC and the MWM with consensus.

He said the related documents would be submitted for allotment of reserved seats, in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), formalising the affiliation of their candidates with the coalition. “Our candidates have submitted their affidavits with us and with their consent, we are announcing that PTI-supported independents are joining the SIC,” he said.

Gohar said the PTI-backed independent candidates are required to join any party within three days following the issuance of notification under the law. He claimed that the PTI had won 180 seats in the National Assembly and demanded the ECP issue notifications of the returned candidates as per form-45, because all nominees had the PTI endorsement on their nomination papers.

He recalled that the PTI issued tickets to the candidates; however, after snatching the party’s electoral symbol, the ECP declared their candidates as independents. “We demand the ECP allot reserved seats to us as per our mandate and in line with the law,” he added.

Barrister Gohar reiterated the shared vision of the coalition, stating that the decision to join the SIC aimed at fostering unity and progress of the nation. Omar Ayub said at the press conference that the PTI wanted unity in the country and, therefore, the party-backed candidates had decided to join the SIC in Centre and all provinces.

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