LAHORE - PTI chairman Imran Khan has dared the government to accept the resignations of his party’s legislators, claiming they will win back all seats in fresh elections.

This he said in response to repeated objections that PTI parliamentarians have no justification to retain their seats after staying away from the house for more than 40 days without any intimation to the relevant authority.

Addressing a press conference at a local community club on Thursday, Imran said, “We don’t need support of any political force on the matter of PTI legislators’ resignations from the Parliament for advancing Azadi March’s demand to form a judicial commission for probing the alleged election rigging. The government can accept our resignations anytime it likes and the PTI will win back all seats in fresh elections.”

Dismissing the allegations that generals had backed PTI’s 126-day sit-in in Islamabad, he called for the formation of a commission to investigate the matter. The institution of Pak Army and ISI should not be implicated without any evidence, he asserted.

The PTI chairman said, “The rulers should form a commission if they have any information connecting me and my party men with certain army officials to hatch a conspiracy against the government. The government should not blame the prime state security institutions without any evidence.”

Imran said he had written a letter to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) demanding an inquiry against the ECP officials who had been held responsible for ‘lapses’ and ‘misconduct’ in 2013 general elections in the Judicial Commission report. PTI can also give its inputs to the ECP once the election authority invites them.

He also demanded resignation of the returning officers and provincial election commissioners who supervised the 2013 general elections.

Imran said, “We have accepted the JC report, but it is our observation that the commission can do more on this matter.” At the same time, he congratulated the Judicial Commission for carrying out a good job.

The PTI chairman said his party would fully support the traders’ protest call against the withholding tax on banking transactions.

He remarked: “The government, instead of reforming the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and making it an autonomous body for effective tax collection keeps on shifting the burden of its failed economic policies on the working classes.

He added the elite of the country were shifting their assets abroad to avert the tax net and the working classes were the only target of tax collection. Property assets of the elite worth Rs 430 billion were lying in Dubai, but nobody bothered to probe the matter.

Commenting on the new plans of the party, Imran said, “I am focusing on the party’s reorganisation, the upcoming local bodies’ polls and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s affairs. Intra-party polls will be held after the local government elections.”

“I am making efforts to transform the PTI into a single entity by bringing the new and old groups together. I will hold a meeting of the new and old leaders on August 2 to settle the differences of various groups in the party, which are weakening the party. We will learn from the mistakes of the past.”

Imran said he would take action against the party men in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who awarded party tickets to their relatives for the local elections, ignoring merit.

Imran said, “It is the success of the PTI and the people of Pakistan that in the history of the country a commission was formed to investigate the rigging practices in the elections. We made this effort for ensuring transparency of elections to take place in the future. The ECP should review its shortcomings indicated in the JC report for the fair conduct of polls in the future.” Imran asked his supporters to stop offering remarks against the JC report on social media as the party has accepted the report.