According to Barrister Gohar, following the PTI’s surprise lead in the elections-2024 in the center, as well as its outstanding performance in Punjab and KP, PTI founder Imran Khan dedicated the resounding victory to “Ghulami Na Manzoor” with tremendous calm and poise.
Imran Khan’s faith and belief in winning the elections was so strong that even when he was incarcerated with conviction on three major accounts, Toshakhana, Cipher, and illegal Nikah, his party was shattered, his workers were thrown into jail in thousands, their homes and businesses were destroyed, his close associates deserted him, his party was deprived of election symbols, in an V-log a month ago said without any iota of doubt that his party, no matter what comes, will win.
Contrary to his claims, only two days ago, many media persons, politicians, political observers and opinion makers rejected his claim, as if he is asking of the moon an impossible task in the face of the entire state power, administration, parliament and judiciary all poised against him willingly or unwillingly.
No one with a sane mind was ready to take his tall claim as serious or having any substance. But perhaps the same minds were not sane enough to gauge and comprehend the insanity of his supporters and were capable of grasping the reality that his popularity and charisma was increasing directly proportional to state power poised against him.
All without expectation, the observers, commentators, opinion makers were predicting and anticipating PTI securing under thirty seats nationally, facing defeat in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan, while only performing moderately well in KP. The expectation was for the state-backed favorite party to secure a commanding majority at the center, likely forming a government with ease in center and Punjab, possibly even with a two-thirds majority.
Many expected Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister, Ishaq Dar as Finance Minister, and Maryam Nawaz as Punjab’s Chief Minister, predicting a clear path for PML(N). However, the unexpected surge of PTI support challenged these forecasts, making the meticulous planning of state operatives, legislative efforts aimed at weakening PTI, and extensive election commission strategies to sideline the party appear ineffective. The judiciary’s efforts to detain Imran Khan and his associates, along with administrative intimidation of PTI candidates, were also seen as futile against the determined PTI supporters and voters.
It was up until 12 p.m. on February 8th when the whole election results were overwhelmingly in favor of the PTI in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP province. This deprived the PML(N), Establishment, Judiciary, and Election Commission of sweet dreams, and all forces rallied to avoid the death knell.
The head of PTA, the head of security agencies, and the head of the Election Commission allegedly launched a rapid action from their comfy mattresses. The PTA slowed down the internet, the Election Commission asked the Returning Officer to halt the issuance of form 47, and security operatives were ordered to invade certain polling stations in order to change the results.
They were aware that, despite their efforts to change the results, the candidates possessed the signed and endorsed form 45 by the presiding officers. However, they had made their own calculations that most of the candidates who have been deprived of their legitimate win will not have the means and resources to knock at the doors of the judiciary to seek justice, and a few who will have the tenacity, courage, grit and resources may get their seats restored, but in balance, they will achieve many purposes, the people at large will start accepting the results, the parties will start working on the forge results, assemblies will be formed and will become preoccupied with electing the Prime Minister, Speaker of the Assembly, and President, and even if a few seats are restored due to judicial intervention, it will make a little difference.
According to PTI calculations, they have won 170 seats in the Punjab Assembly and 145 seats in the center, putting them in a strong position to form governments in the Centre, Punjab, and KP provinces. They are certain that the results will be recounted and recompiled on the basis of form 45, and results will be re-announced with the required corrections to the correct results.
Gohar Ali Khan, Chairman of the PTI, stated that there are still a few days to establish assemblies and expressed optimism that the results would be corrected.
On the other hand, PML(N), PPP and MQM are discussing possible alliances in the Centre, Punjab and Balochistan. PPP has communicated its agreement to support PML(N) in Punjab in lieu of PML(N) support in Balochistan. PPP may also agree to make alliance with PML(N) in center with possible bargaining of Bilawal Bhutto as Prime Minister or Asif Ali Zardari as President
Barrister Gohar however, ruled out any negotiations or alliances with either the PML(N) or the PPP, citing his belief that the PTI is well-positioned to form a government alone in the Centre, Punjab and KP. While discussing reserve seats for women and minorities, he stated that after their stolen seats are restored, PTI winning candidates will join a smaller party and claim the reserve seats. He expressed the hope that receiving the correct results and claiming reserve seats will be completed within one week.
While debunking common misconceptions, Gohar expressed confidence that all candidates who won elections under the PTI flag, and were nominated by PTI, will remain loyal to PTI. He stated that the candidates must have learned a lesson from the fate of all traitors who quit the party during difficult times and have received appropriate punishment when they suffered humiliating defeat in the elections.
Furthermore, the pressure of charged voters loyal to the PTI will prevent them from switching allegiance. He stated that in the worst-case scenario, the PTI might form an alliance with the MQM or sit in opposition and play an active role in the consolidation of democracy.
While responding to a question, he stated that the president may make his own efforts to engage political parties in order to reach a consensus on future course of action, but observed that the President’s role is highly limited in political management. He also agreed to the intention of the president communicated to him by an anchor person that the president may meet with PTI Imran Khan to discuss the emerging situation.
Imran Khan not only proved many predictions about the outcome of the elections wrong and unfounded, but also about his ability to endure hardships. By his brave and tremendous courage to face the hardship of prison and jail, he also proved all myths about him wrong which included that he would flee the country, like others before him, was debunked.
Contrary to expectations, his party maintained momentum even without establishment support. Despite state opposition, he proved capable of winning, challenging the notion that only with “electables'” backing could he succeed. State pressure on his supporters was anticipated to deter voter turnout, yet this did not materialize as expected. The trimming of PTI’s key figures was seen as a setback, but it didn’t eliminate their chances of winning. The nation perhaps should remain ready to receive many more surprises from Imran Khan.
In a remarkable turn of events, PTI’s resilience and the unwavering loyalty of its supporters have redefined the political landscape. This electoral saga, marked by challenges, has underscored the potency of grassroots support and the indomitable spirit of democracy.