PTI supporters protest against ‘minus-one formula’ outside Pakistan High Commission in London


Islamabad: Supporters and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held a protest outside the Pakistan High Commission in London against the “minus-one formula”, a term used by PTI to describe the government’s attempts to try and disqualify PTI Chairman from elections.

The protest in London was held in coordination with the protests held across Pakistan on the call of Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party central office, Geo News reported.

The speakers at the protest said they had gathered to show their support for Khan and to send a clear message that the PTI chief should not be disqualified or knocked out through any other means as this will be damaging to Pakistan’s democratic process.

Protestors carrying placards and banners showing support for their leader said that they would not accept the “minus-one formula”. They chanted slogans of “minus-one formula na manzoor” outside the Pakistan High Commission for three hours.

The London demonstration was attended by the newly elected PTI office bearers, including PTI London’s President Waqas Sagar, Secretary-General Nabeel Qureshi, Senior-Vice President Taqweem Ahsan, and Youth Secretary Aurangzeb Khan, as well as PTI UK’s President Imran Khalil, General-Secretary Rana Hamid Afzal, and Women Secretary Nasreen Memon.

Sahibzada Jahangir, Farzana Mukhtar, Maheen Faisal, Shahid Destageer, Amir Khan and Adnan Shareef, membership coordinator and co-head of the literary society, also addressed participants at the demonstration, Geo News reported.

Secretary-General of the party, Nabeel Qureshi said Pakistanis had rejected the PTI chairman’s removal from power through an alleged American conspiracy and stood by him against injustice to him. He said some elements had made a malicious conspiracy of “minus one” against Khan but “such plans will be defeated”.

Another speaker, Farzana Mukhtar said that Pakistan has been plunged into the worst crisis and the only way out is possible through free and fair elections. Maheen Faisal said nobody else other than Imran Khan will be accepted as the leader of Pakistan.

“Imran Khan has fought hard and that’s why some people want to knock him out from politics but PTI workers will never let such a nefarious plan succeed,” she remarked.

PTI UK’s President, Imran Khalil said Pakistan was liberated in 1947 but the country never had real freedom. He said the “Haqeezi Azadi” movement was now being run by Khan and the whole nation stood by him.

Sahibzada Jahangir announced that hunger strikes and protests will be held across the UK if the party’s chief was disqualified in any of the cases against him.

“We will go to every extent to protest and this will send a very bad message to the international community. Therefore it’s important to not do anything that knocks out Imran Khan through any means other than the process of voting,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, PTI in Pakistan called for nationwide protests against the ‘minus-one formula’. The party called the protest to express their solidarity with their chief Imran Khan. This is a fresh phase of its anti-government campaign which was announced by PTI, Pakistan’s local media outlet Dawn reported.

In a tweet, Imran Khan said, “Tomorrow our Gujranwala jalsa will be the last of our present phase of Haqiqi Azadi Movement. I will announce the next critical phase at the jalsa. Imported govt and its handlers are so petrified that nation is standing firmly behind PTI they are desperately moving on Minus 1 formula.”

Other PTI leaders said that shelving of by-elections in 13 constituencies of the National Assembly, of which Khan was contesting in nine, endorsed their apprehension that Khan could be disqualified from holding a public office, as per Dawn.

The Islamabad capital city police Saturday summoned PTI Chairman Imran Khan again to appear before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing a terrorism case against him. The notice was issued after the former prime minister failed to appear before the JIT at the Margalla Police Station in a case lodged against him for allegedly threatening a lower court judge, Zeba Chaudhry.

The notice mentioned that Khan is on bail in the case till September 12, therefore, he should appear before the investigation team at 5 pm Saturday to ensure that he answers its questions.

On Thursday, the Islamabad HC decided to indict the former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on September 22 after giving an “unsatisfactory” response in the contempt of court case.

During the hearing of the case, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said, “Imran Khan’s response was not satisfactory” and added that Imran Khan would be indicted in a contempt case after two weeks on September 22, ARY News reported. (ANI)