ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he stands by his earlier announcement to boycott today’s joint session of parliament.
“I stand by decision to boycott the joint session as nothing new will be achieved that was not achieved with PTI’s active participation in APC (All Parties Conference),” Imran claimed in a tweet.
“But I want to ask how any politician with a moral compass can accept a prime minister who has been caught money laundering in Panama Papers,” he said.
Imran, who has been stepping up his rhetoric against the prime minister in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks, told a press conference on Tuesday that his party members would not attend any sessions of parliament until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned or presented himself for accountability as per the opposition’s proposed terms of reference (ToR) for investigation into Panamagate.
Party insiders told Dawn that while most PTI parliamentarians wanted to stay put in Parliament House to fight their case, the party chairman — supported by a group of unelected party leaders — decided otherwise.
“After the Panama Papers revelations the prime minister has lost the moral authority to hold office… I don’t accept him as the prime minister anymore,” the PTI chief roared from outside his Bani Gala residence following a three-hour huddle with his party leaders.
In the meeting, a PTI lawmaker told Dawn, both sides argued intensely. Those supporting continued presence in parliament were of the view that the move would only invite a hostile reaction, both from the media and the general public.
However, Imran and his supporters argued that the iron was hot in terms of the probe into the Panama Papers leaks and wanted to exert maximum pressure without any concern for media perception or other factors.