The returning officers (ROs) have rejected the objections raised by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan to the nomination papers of PTI Chairman Imran Khan for by-elections in National Assembly constituencies in Karachi.
Hearing the objections raised by PPP leaders Nabil Gabol and Javed Nagori, and Syed Tayyab Hussain Hashmi of the MQM-P to Khan’s nomination papers filed for NA-246, bitter arguments were exchanged between one of the ROs and PTI lawyers. On this occasion, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail was present in the RO’s office with the legal team.
When the RO allowed only the lawyers to stay, Ismail directed the other lawyers to go out. The RO rejected the objections raised by the PPP and the MQM-P leaders and approved Khan’s nomination papers for the by-election to NA-246.
During scrutiny, Returning Officer Shah Nawaz Brohi had initially withheld Khan’s nomination papers filed for the by-election to NA-237. The objections raised by Shahid Nawaz of the MQM-P were that Khan was involved in Tosha Khana and foreign funding scams. Sindh Assembly opposition leader Halim Adil Sheikh, who belongs to the PTI, said these objections were being heard in courts. However, after receiving a written answer, the RO approved the PTI chief’s nomination papers for the by-poll in NA-237.
At the time of the decision, PTI leaders and workers were present outside the offices of the returning officers. They celebrated and shouted slogans after the approval of the nomination papers of their party chief. On this occasion, PPP workers were also present, while police and rangers were deployed to deal with any untoward incident. Khan’s nomination papers for another NA seat, NA-239, have already been approved.
Earlier, in his complaint written to the returning officer, NA-246 by-poll candidate Hashmi Syed Tayyab Hashmi had alleged that Khan had concealed some facts in his papers.
He claimed that Khan and his wife Bushra Khan were the trustees of Al-Qadir University Project Trust and both were beneficiaries.
However, Hashmi said, Khan had not mentioned the fact in his declaration on oath in his nomination papers, and by doing so he had concealed this material fact from the Election Commission of Pakistan.
He pointed out that Jahangir Khan Tareen, former general secretary of the PTI had been disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the grounds that he had not declared his trust before the ECP.
The MQM-P candidate said the PTI chief also owned agricultural land in his name in Tehsil Main Chunnu and paid the Rs33,000 agricultural tax for the year of 2020-21, while his wife Bushra Khan had three properties in her name which have not been declared by Khan in his nomination papers. These properties, he said, are 379 Kanals and one marla in Mauza Ghani Pakpattan, one Kanal and 10 marlas in Mauza, Pakpattan and 70 acres in Chak Freedabad, Debalpur, Okara.
However, Hashmi said, these properties had not been mentioned in Khan’s nomination paper from NA-246; therefore, his nomination should be rejected for the reason that he has concealed facts from the ECP. It is mandatory for a candidate under the Election Act 2017 and Election Rules 2017 to declare all information about his spouse regarding assets in the declaration column of his nomination papers. The same objections have been raised by Shahid Nawaz, MQM-P candidate for NA-237, to Khan’s nomination papers.
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