Asks ECP to take note of more TV coverage to Imran

Peshawar: Terming what he believed was extra-coverage being given by private news channels to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as pre-poll rigging, senior leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) and candidate for NA-1 Peshawar Ghulam Ahmad Bilour Thursday asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the issue.
“Imran Khan is candidate of PTI from NA-1 and he should not be given extra-coverage as compared to his rivals,” argued the senior Bilour while addressing a press conference here. “Some of the private news channels are giving 30 to 45 minutes coverage to Imran Khan while the same channels are not giving us even 15 minutes,” Bilour complained.
Malik Ghulam Mustafa, ANP candidate for PK-2, Haroon Bilour, ANP candidate for PK-3, Ghazanfar Bilour for PK-1, provincial vice-president Hameed-ur-Rahman Mohammadzai and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.
Ghulam Bilour said the ECP should also take notice of commercial advertisements of Imran Khan on different news channels. “The Election Commission has fixed Rs1.5 million for campaign of National Assembly candidate. It (ECP) should check the cost of the Imran Khan’s advertisements being aired on TV channels,” he stated.
ANP is on the hit-list of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and they had announced to disrupt their election campaign through subversive activities. The party candidates have confined themselves to corner meetings due to serious security threats to them.
Talking about the security threats to ANP candidates, Bilour said, “We cannot hold rallies and big public gatherings and instead of providing more security to us, the government has taken off the security.”
He said the ANP had written letter to provincial government for provision of proper security guards and the government deputed just two police constables for his security. “The former military dictator Pervez Musharraf seems to be more loyal and patriotic than us as he was given foolproof security,” he stated.
Bilour asked the provincial government that keeping in view the threat level to ANP candidates, the government should enhance the security of the party candidates and provide level-playing field to them.
Despite the threats and its effects on ANP’s campaign, he said, he was hopeful that the people of Peshawar would reject the outsiders.The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were politically mature and had exhibited their maturity in 70’s when they rejected the much-trumpeted slogan of “roti, kapra aur makan” of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), he maintained.
“Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a charisma and despite that charismatic personality his party could not fair well in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Same will be the fate of PTI as people will show their political wisdom and reject the forces that raised the slogan of so-called “Naya Pakistan,” he remarked.
He said the ANP had rendered great sacrifices and gallantly fought terrorism and militancy. “In our struggle against militancy and terrorism, we lost over 700 party workers and leaders but never wavered from our principled stance,” he added.
Counting ANP’s achievements during the last five years, Bilour said the party had achieved many milestones. “Renaming the province, NFC Award, provincial autonomy, unmatchable development in education sector, massive infrastructure development, different schemes for unemployed people of the province were few to name,” he stated.
He hoped the people of the province would once again cast votes in favour of the ANP and the party would once again form government in the province.
By Tauseef-ur-Rehman at The News