In unanimous decision, ECP disqualifies Imran Khan in Toshakhana case
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday disqualified PTI supremo Imran Khan for five years in Toshakhana case filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) citing, corrupt practices by party chairman.
The Toshakhana reference filed for the disqualification of the former Prime Minister was sent to the ECP by the Speaker of the National Assembly on the request of 5 members of the ruling coalition, on which the decision was reserved on September 19.
A 5-member commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja gave an unanimous decision, but 4 members were present when the decision was announced as Punjab member Babar Hassan Bharwana was not part of the commission today due to ill health.
The Election Commission while announcing the decision said that, “if Imran Khan is involved in corrupt practices, criminal proceedings will be initiated against him.”
The unanimous decision reads, “Imran Khan has been declared ineligible to be elected as a member of Majlis Shura (Parliament) or Provincial Assembly under any law for the duration of the current assembly under Article 63 (13) for submitting a false affidavit in Toshakhana refrence.”
Security beefed up:
Strict security arrangements have been made around the ECP office, a heavy contingent of law enforcement officials has been deployed in view of possible protests by PTI workers.
The entry of unauthorized persons has been barred in the Election Commission office.
Rangers, FC and police personnel have been deployed in federal capital for extraordinary security, the Islamabad administration has also delivered tear gas shells to the ECP.
The electoral watchdog has called an emergency meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and all other members of the Commission have also reached where they will be briefed by the administration on security related issues and arrangements.
Yesterday, the ECP issued a notice to the former prime minister and the petitioners stating that, “the decision of the Toshakhana reference filed against Imran Khan will be pronounced tomorrow (October 21, 2022) at 2 pm.”
The PTI chairman and other parties were asked to appear in person or through a lawyer at the scheduled hearing at the Election Commission of Pakistan office at the mentioned time.
Lawyer prosecutor Khalid Ishaq said that the value of one cuff link which was not disclosed was Rs5.7 million, he added that, the second argument was given that some gifts were sold during the financial year and according to Imran Khan, there was no need to disclose the gifts received by prime minister.
The PML-N lawyer said that according to Imran Khan, the Election Commission was not authorized to hear the case against him in Toshakhana reference.
Khalid Ishaq said that only the election commission can disqualify him for not revealing his assets. It is necessary for the members of the national or provincial assembly to reveal assets.
“Isn’t a watch worth Rs5 million an item of personal use? Ishaq raise a question.
Lawyer Khalid Ishaq stressed that, if a mistake has been made then admit it.
After hearing the arguments, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reserved its verdict.
In the reply submitted by Imran Khan to the Election Commission, it was said that the Toshakhana reference against him was unjustified and baseless.
“The reference is malicious and the case is framed for political purposes, the Toshakhana reference is misuse of power and contempt of constitution,” Khan wrote.
National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan for selling presents from Toshakhana during his government.
In the reference, it was said that Imran Khan did not disclosed the details of gifts taken from Toshakhana and the money received from the sale of these gifts in his assets.
Earlier in April, the former prime minister had responded to the controversy over the gifts found in the Toshakhana during an informal media interaction, saying that these were his gifts and it was his choice whether to keep them or not.