Monday March 04, 2024

ECP terms Imran’s response ‘unsatisfactory’

ECP summons Imran Khan in his personal capacity along with Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar on September 27

By Mumtaz Alvi & News Desk
September 13, 2022
Sign board outside Election Commission of Pakistan building. —File Photo
Sign board outside Election Commission of Pakistan building. —File Photo  

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday termed PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s response in the contempt case ‘unsatisfactory’ and summoned him in his personal capacity along with Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar on September 27.

A four–member ECP bench took up the contempt case against Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar. The response — submitted by Barrister Gohar and Faisal Chaudhry Advocate — said Imran Khan did not insult the Election Commission but only expressed concern about the role of the Commission in his statements.

“The Election Commission has no authority to hear the cases, nor can the Secretary of the Election Commission send notices. The ECP’s notice is a violation of the Constitution, so it should be withdrawn,” it further stated.

Faisal Chaudhry informed the bench that they had already challenged the matter in the Lahore High Court. “The show-cause notice has been issued by the secretary Election Commission; however, as per law, he is not mandated to issue any such notice. Only

the Supreme Court has the authority to issue it. The matter is already pending with the Lahore High Court and the Election Commission is also a respondent in the case,” he told the bench.

Speaking to the media after appearing before the four-member bench, Faisal said he had submitted the response arguing that the ECP was not a judicial platform and hence it could not issue contempt notices.

“A judicial reference has also been filed against the ECP Member Nisar Durrani with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). We have asked him to disassociate himself from the bench hearing the matter,” he said, adding that the ECP had reserved the verdict on the matter.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) had restrained the Election Commission of Pakistan from taking action against the PTI leaders in the contempt case.

According to details, Justice Jawad Hassan heard the petition filed by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry with the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench against the electoral watchdog’s contempt notice.

During the hearing, Fawad’s counsel Advocate Faisal Chaudhry argued that the ECP was not a court and therefore as per the Constitution was not protected by the “contempt of court provisions”.

Subsequently, the court issued a notice seeking response from the electoral body on September 7 while restraining it from issuing a final order on the matter.

On August 19, the Election Commission issued a contempt notice to Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry.

Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice-President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Monday hinted at a bid to assassinate Imran Khan after his rivals failed to outmaneuver him politically.

“All these people are working on the assassination of Imran Khan and they are small part of the scheme. This is the only government that is using the religious card to get rid of Imran Khan. It filed cases of blasphemy and then terrorism. When things did not materialise, these people want to create an atmosphere of religious hatred by taking up different statements,” he said while speaking to reporters after attending the party’s political committee meeting.

Flanked by PTI Senator Sania Nishtar, Fawad said a group of journalists working with the Strategic Media Cell had also made a video.

“All these people are actually working on the murder of Imran Khan; they are small partners of the whole scheme and want to create religious hatred in the country,” Fawad claimed.

He alleged that the Strategic Media Cell was run and financed by Maryam Nawaz and said using religious card to eliminate Imran Khan was no problem for them.

“What Maryam Nawaz did today or Fazlur Rehman did before that? They want Imran physically eliminated because he is not losing the elections,” he said.

Fawad alleged that Maryam Nawaz’s media cell was working day and night to spread riots in Pakistan and she was also setting its agenda.

“Time does not remain the same. What they are doing today, they will be held accountable for it,” he remarked.

Fawad said the way some news channels were shut down for showing Imran’s telethon was extremely condemnable adding that they will challenge the closure of broadcast in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

“We are going to the Islamabad High Court on the closure of broadcast and we will ask the government, if not you, then who orders that the channels should be closed. Whoever is doing it, Pakistan has gone to the brink of destruction,” he maintained.

“The telethon was apolitical, as a large number of people have been affected by the floods and the government and the media should have supported the PTI,” he remarked.

Fawad said the PTI alone conducted two telethons for the flood victims.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sania Nishtar said in the telethon held on August 29, a commitment of Rs5 billion was made out of which Rs2 billion was committed by a single person from Texas for rehabilitation.

“This money has to come in the second phase; we have Rs3.3 billion in the bank,” she said. Dr Sania said out of Rs3.3 billion, Rs1.9 billion was received from the expatriates and Rs1.93 billion from Pakistan. She noted that Rs3.8 billion could not be received from abroad through credit cards due to some reasons. Dr. Sania said Rs5.2 billion was collected in two hours in the telethon.