Thu, 11 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 28 (ANI): Pakistan's former director-general (DG) of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Zaheerul Islam has denied the "rumours" of joining former prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), asserting that he has neither joined the party nor met its chief.

This comes after pictures of General Zaheer addressing a PTI gathering in Kahuta city of Rawalpindi district went viral on social media.

The News International quoting Zaheer reported that he had recently held a gathering of the local elders at his house in his native village in Kahuta where the community decided to support the PTI candidate for PP-7 Rawalpindi in the upcoming by-elections.

"It was the decision of the baradari and being part of it, I simply announced the decision," he said and explained that his presence in the event had been greatly misrepresented by the social media, The News International reported.

He noted that he had not met Imran Khan for the past few years, at least not after he became the Prime Minister in 2018.

However, the former spymaster has said that supporting the PTI chairman Imran Khan was the need of the hour.

Several reports claimed that the retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam has entered the political sphere and joined a political party but he has not yet commented on these reports, the Dawn newspaper reported.

A picture of Gen Islam was shared by journalist Saleem Safi on his Twitter account where Islam could be seen delivering a speech at a political event while standing at a podium emblazoned with PTI's flag.

The information secretary of the party Fawad Chaudhry has dismissed the reports of the former ISI DG joining the political sphere.

The former general was elected as the ISI chief from March 2012 to November 2014 and it was also speculated that he was a part of the negotiations during the party's sit-in outside the parliament.

Earlier, voting for the first phase of local government elections was held in 14 districts of Sindh.

The total number of registered voters is 1,149,2680. The election commission printed 2,950,000 ballot papers for the first phase of the Sindh LG polls.

While polling began in the morning in all 14 districts, reports of violence, scuffles and ECP mismanagement started pouring in from upper and lower Sindh regions. These clashes were said to emerge out of missing election symbols as well. Polling was suspended at various polling stations.

Voting will take place in the Hyderabad division -- part of lower Sindh -- along with provincial metropolis Karachi in the second phase on July 24. Hyderabad division has nine districts. (ANI)

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