The PTI on Tuesday denied the claim that chief Imran Khan, who is currently incarcerated at Adiala jail, would not contest intra-party polls for the slot of party chairman. The statement by the PTI was issued in response to one by a “senior leader”. Although the party did not name the leader, earlier in the day PTI’s Sher Afzal Khan Marwat had stated that Imran had decided to not contest the election for PTI chairman due to legal prohibitions and his disqualification in the Toshakhana case. Marwat, who was appointed a senior vice president of the party last week, had made the remarks while speaking to PTI social media representatives outside Adiala jail. “Khan sahib himself has decided that he will not contest the polls for the office of PTI chairman,” he had said, adding that this decision was taken with consensus. Marwat said the decision would be reversed as soon as the disqualification was set aside. However, hours later, the PTI issued a statement on social media platform X stating that it “strongly denies” speculation in the media on the issue. It also denied the claims by a “senior party leader” about Imran not running for party chairman in intra-party elections. “Discussions are ongoing on all the important issues regarding the holding of intra-party elections,” the party said. It said that no decision was taken as yet regarding withdrawing Imran from the election or nominating another leader in his place. The party said that as soon as the leadership reached a conclusion on holding intra-party elections, the date and the selection of candidates, the details would be released to the media. Meanwhile, Marwat stuck by his statement despite the party’s denial. In response to the statement issued by the PTI, Marwat said that he had “examined the paradox”. “Whatever I have said in my media talk about the intra-party election is a correct statement. The decisions were taken by the PTI chairman in the presence of Senator Ali Zafar, Barrister Gohar Umair Niazi and myself,” he said. “I fail to understand who is behind the contradiction and why the misleading statement was issued. The media are advised to verify my statement with the above persons if you don’t mind,” he added. Separately, PTI Senator Ali Zafar said while talking to a private news channel that there was no confusion in the party, adding that he met Imran today. Zafar said Imran had tasked him to hold consultations and then meet the PTI chief to give his opinion on the situation so the former premier could make his decision. “Two to three decisions were made together with him. Firstly, he asked what is the legal status of the ECP’s order to hold intra-party elections so I told him that it is illegal and we should appeal so the decision was made to appeal it.” Secondly, Zafar said Imran asked whether the party should go ahead with elections despite appealing the ECP order to which the senator said they should be held. “I sense the perception and the party leadership does too that the ECP is somehow trying to not give the PTI the symbol of the bat.” Zafar said Imran supported his opinion to hold elections and agreed to it. “Discussion was also had on whether Imran Khan should contest the elections or should we suspend the decisions against us first.” He said finally a decision was reached that if need be, if there was any concern arose that the ECP would raise an objection if Imran contested the elections, “then it is better than that that we at the moment hold elections in which Imran Khan doesn’t contest and we nominate someone else [for party chairman].” Zafar pointed out that a final decision remained to be taken on the above matter after considering all legal aspects, adding that he would announce the “exact decision” of whether Imran would contest the intra-party elections or not tomorrow.