Verdict reserved on plea challenging Imran Khan's eligibility for PTI chairman post

Petition has become infructuous as the party has elected its new chairman, says PTI counsel Shoaib Shaheen

December 05, 2023
An anti-terrorist force personal uses a metal detector to check the area of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on August 26, 2008. — AFP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a petition that was filed to remove Imran Khan as the head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and declare the party ineligible for obtaining electoral symbol.

Although the petition was filed on October 3, Imran decided against contesting the ECP-mandated intra-party polls for the post of party chairman and handpicked Gohar Ali Khan to lead the party due to his disqualification in Toshakhana case and other legal challenges earlier this month.

Barrister Gohar was officially elected as the PTI chief unopposed in the intra-party polls held on December 2.

During the hearing today, PTI lawyer Shoaib Shaheen said the petition had become infructuous as the party has elected its new chairman.

He said they have submitted a record of the intra-party polls to the ECP and the matter should now come to an end.

Advocate Shaheen also said that if the ECP wanted to hear this matter then it should club it with a petition being filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar against the party’s intra-party polls.

To this, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja said: “You are giving Khalid Mahmood [petitioner’s lawyer] a chance to file a petition against the new chairman.”

Advocate Mahmood also pleaded with the CEC to mention in the order that Imran Khan cannot hold any position in the party due to his conviction.

The CEC said that they cannot comment on the matter as the former PTI chief did not contest intra-party polls.

The ECP also directed Khan’s lawyer to submit record of the PTI’s intra-party polls.

Several political parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and others have dubbed the PTI intra-party polls as fake, while PTI founding member raised objections to the process and announced challenging the internal party elections in the ECP.