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Imran Khan’s Party to Assume Opposition Role in Pakistan’s Parliament, Protesting Election Rigging

PoliticsImran Khan's Party to Assume Opposition Role in Pakistan's Parliament, Protesting Election Rigging

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has opted to sit in the Opposition in Parliament and launch nationwide protests against alleged election rigging after failing to form the next government. Pakistan’s major political parties intensified efforts to establish a federal government following the split verdict of the February 8 elections.

Rahul Gandhi, along with the party’s state president Ajay Rai and other Congress leaders, stood atop an open jeep as they toured the bustling Gudauli area of the temple town. Gandhi also visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Pallavi Patel, leader of Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), and the Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Sirathu joined the yatra in Varanasi.

PTI leader Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif announced the decision to sit in the Opposition both at the Centre and in Punjab, following the instructions of PTI founder Khan. The decision came after the party had named Umar Ayub Khan as its candidate for prime minister and Aslam Iqbal as chief minister for Punjab. The party issued a white paper against alleged rigging and planned to kick off demonstrations from Saturday.

The PTI’s core committee met and finalized plans for a nationwide protest campaign, urging the nation to rally against the alleged massive rigging and calling for the resignation of the chief election commissioner. Independent candidates, the majority backed by PTI, won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats contested in the election. However, PTI’s two main rivals, PML-N and PPP, formed a post-poll alliance, appearing on course to form a coalition government.

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