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June 23, 2018

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Imran’s appeal against rejection of papers adjourned till 26th

By Faisal Kamal Pasha

ISLAMABAD: An Election Tribunal (ET) comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here on Friday adjourned till June 26 an appeal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan against rejection of his nomination papers by Returning Officer (RO) of NA-53 Islamabad.

The ET has directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint its counsel for assistance of the court in adjudication of this matter. The RO had rejected Imran Khan’s nomination papers for leaving Clause-N of the affidavit blank failing to mention his contribution as an MNA to NA-56 Rawalpindi from where he remained public representative for five years.

Moreover Justice & Democratic Party (JDP), headed by Justice (R) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has also raised objections over the nomination papers of Imran Khan saying that he did not mention his alleged daughter Tyrian while according to an American court, he is the father of the girl.

Legal counsel for JDP, Sheikh Ahsanuddin, advocate, contended before the court that RO had rejected their objection while saying that only voter of a particular constituency can raise an objection. Under the Election Act 2017, the opposing candidate can also file objections, advocate Sheikh said. He further said that Imran Khan is not Sadiq & Ameen under Section 62 (1)(F) of the Constitution.

Legal counsel for Imran Khan, Babar Awan, advocate, said that media trial of Imran Khan is being conducted on the basis of trash papers. The ET then put of in this matter till June 26. Advocate Babar Awan talking to the media said that the Imran will be the first prime minister from the federal capital. Awan criticized the JDP and also recent transfers and postings. Meanwhile former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former governor KP Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA on women reserved seats Ayesha Gulalai have also challenged the rejection of their nomination papers from NA-53 Islamabad by the Returning Officer (RO).

Election Tribunal (ET) comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued notices to the RO directing him to submit complete record and adjourned hearing till June 25. All the three nomination papers have been rejected on similar ground that the candidates could not mention their contribution to their constituencies in clause N when they remained public representatives.

RO had rejected Shahid Khaqan’s nomination papers saying “while scrutinizing the affidavit of candidate Shahid, I found a clause-N of the affidavit made applicable for a class of candidates who served as elected members from any national and / or provincial assemblies and require information of their constituencies in as much as the detailed facts/instances of their important contributions for the benefit of their said constituencies, like him from NA-36 and NA 50 in year 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013. These important contributions for the voters benefit of said constituencies may have included their rights under part-II of the Constitution of 1973 and /are fund based. The requirement of this clause in the affidavit of candidate Shahid despite being wholly applicable is not answered/ completed as the same is filled in with the personal qualities of candidate Shahid such as; (1) his integrity (2) lessening of his assets; (3) he, a tax payer; (4) does not change loyalties” etc.

Shahid Khaqan has contended that the RO order is against the law and liable to be set aside as under the election act, RO would not reject a nomination paper due to an objection that is not substantial in nature. He has requested ET to set aside this order.

Former Governor KP Sardar Mehtab Abbasi in his appeal has said that his nomination papers have been accepted by an RO in Abbotabad while the same were rejected by an RO in NA-53. Former PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai in her appeal said that she remained MNA on women reserved seat from 2013 till 2018 and now she has launched her own political party by the name Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Gulalai (PTIG).

That scrutiny of her nomination papers was done on June 18 while Returning Officer (RO) rejected the same on June 19 on unfounded, baseless and unwarranted grounds. RO had rejected her nomination papers with the order that reads “while scrutinizing the affidavit of candidate Ayesha, I found a clause-N of the affidavit made applicable for a class of candidates who served as elected members from any national and / or provincial assemblies and require information of their constituencies in as much as the detailed facts/instances of their important contributions for the benefit of their said constituencies, like her from NA-325 Women Reserved Seat in the year left blank by her. These important contributions for the voters benefit of said constituencies may have included their rights under part-II of the Constitution of 1973 and /are fund based. The requirement of this clause in the affidavit of candidate Ayesha despite being wholly applicable is not answered/ completed in a way required. The answer given is, “nill. NO FUND GIVEN TO WOMEN MNAS”.

But at the same time she should not say that she did not enjoy the privilege of being an MNA and respective emolument attached to such office of MNA. As I stated, right of voters of constituencies under Part II of the Constitution 1973 are not wholly fund based but also relate to the education of their guaranteed fundamental rights. The affidavit is not duly filled in the way it was so required as per spirit of direction, so leaving me with no option but to presume the affidavit being incomplete in its filing”.

Ayesha Gulalai in her appeal has contended that she has been human rights activist from FATA and KP and had been advocating women rights in her province and Canadian High Commission has awarded her with voice of hope award’.

She said that the RO misconceived that her nomination papers were incomplete Gulalai contended that her nomination papers have been accepted from other constituencies but the RO of NA-53 has rejected the same on unwarranted, whimsical and baseless grounds. She has requested ET to set aside the RO order and her nomination papers may be accepted.

Meanwhile ET Justice Ibad-ur-Rehman Lodhi at Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench rejected appeals of Shahid Orakzai that he filed against the acceptance of nomination papers of Ch Nisar Ali Khan from NA-59, PP-10 and PP-12. ET rejected the appeals as Orakzai not voter of the constituencies. He had raised objections that Ch Nisar was involved in the attack over Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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