Arif Alvi apologises for apology statement

Source: Published in Politics on Friday, July 03, 2015

LAHORE: Former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf General Secretary Dr Arif Alvi’s call that it is time to apologise for “35 punctures” following the party chief’s statement has eventually been dubbed his personal statement.

Dr Alvi also withdrew his statement following a policy statement by party’s central organiser Jahangir Tareen.

As PTI chairman Imran Khan stated in a news channel talk show that the 35 punctures statement was a political one, Dr Alvi tweeted: “It is time to apologise for 35 punctures. Many rumours regarding source of information and content were afloat and I believed in some of them.”

The tweet took the social media by storm as people, having affiliation with other parties, strongly criticised the PTI and went on to say, “Koi sharam koi haya hoti hai” – the jargon started by PML-N’s Khwaja Asif and re-used by PTI leaders.

Soon afterwards, PTI central organiser Jahangir Tareen said that Dr Alvi had given his statement in a personal capacity and the party’s official position was that not only 35 but 71 punctures were made in the 2013 general elections. Consequently, Dr Alvi tweeted, “I agree”.

Mr Tareen also tweeted that whatever was punctured, reality was that the PTI had given strong evidence in Judicial Commission that the 2013 general elections were rigged in a systematic plan by the PML-N to steal people’s mandate. He also commented that the PML-N leaders were so scared of the forged Form 15 scandal that they had now started harping around 35 punctures.

PTI chairman’s political adviser Ejaz Chaudhry said Dr Alvi had apologised for his “apology seeking statement” following central organiser’s policy statement.

Answering a question that the PTI chairman had himself admitted that the 35 punctures was a political statement, Mr Chaudhry said the PTI expected that the Judicial Commission would perform judicial activity as well as investigate the allegations. However, he said, the Judicial Commission only continued its judicial activity but did not investigate the allegations as well as the available proofs. “So, the 35 punctures remained a political statement,” Mr Chaudhry said.

PTI central information secretary Naeemul Haque said the 35 puncture story, of course, was political but correct. Let Najam Sethi, Murtaza Poya, Dr Ijaz and the US ambassador come on TV on this issue, he said.

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