Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan on Sunday said he would return to Parliament after a ‘boycott’ of nearly eight months as the government has accepted his demand of a judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in the 2013 general election.
“Since the government has formed a judicial commission to audit 2013 elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to return to the Parliament,” Imran said following a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee.
“We have decided to attend the joint session of Parliament tomorrow. The Yemen issue is very important I will attend myself and present my party’s point of view,” he said.
PTI legislators in August last year had resigned from the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Sindh and Punjab during a long-march protest against the alleged poll-rigging in May 2013 general elections won by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.
The speakers of the national and Punjab assemblies, however, have not yet accepted their resignations.
The PTI had demanded resignation of Sharif and audit of the election during its four-month sit-in in Islamabad. The party had alleged its mandate was stolen.
Presenting his party’s view point on the issue, Khan said Pakistan should not involve itself in Yemen-Saudi conflict as it had already suffered a lot by entering in the Afghan- Russian and US-Afghan conflicts in the past.
The joint session of the Parliament will be held on Monday to discuss the ongoing situation of Yemen conflict and the policy of the government in response of Saudi’s demands in this regard.
The PTI and Pakistan People’s Party are the main opposition parties and it is said the government would adopt a stance on the issue acceptable to the opposition.
“Pakistan is already paying the price for being involved in someone else’s war. For the protection of holy places (Mecca and Medina) every Muslim is ready to sacrifice his life but in this conflict both sides are Muslims and Pakistan should refrain from joining one side in this,” Imran said.
He said the Nawaz-led government had not yet presented its clear stance over the issue.
“Tomorrow we in the Parliament would like to hear from the government as well we will adopt a categorical stance over the issue,” he said, adding that although there had been pressure from Saudi Arabia (to join hands against Yemen rebels) Pakistan should not involve itself in the conflict.
The cricketer-turned-politician further said the PTI core committee had unanimously decided to return to the Parliament and play the role of a strong opposition.
The government and opposition PPP have welcomed the PTI’s decision to return to the Parliament.