Home Latest News ECP Disqualifies Imran Khan in Toshakhana Reference

ECP Disqualifies Imran Khan in Toshakhana Reference

PTI chief charged with submitting false affidavit, with his party vowing to appeal ruling before Islamabad High Court

by Staff Report


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from holding public office under Article 63(i)(iii) after finding him guilty of “corrupt” practices for submitting a false declaration in the Toshakhana reference.

The unanimous verdict was announced by a four-member bench of the ECP led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja. It said that Khan had submitted a false affidavit and could no longer remain a lawmaker.

Immediately after the verdict was announced at 2 p.m., PTI leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain accused the ECP of being managed by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif, alleging that the order had been penned by a “servant” of the former prime minister. Urging people to come out in protest, he said it was “attack” on the rule of law and claimed this marked the start of their “freedom movement.” The PTI has also announced that it would appeal the sentence before the Islamabad High Court.

Ahead of the verdict, the ECP was placed under strict security, with several PTI leaders being barred from entering the premises to attend the hearing. Television footage should several of them climbing over the gate to reach the commission’s secretariat, with Fawad claiming this showed authorities were “scared.”

The Toshakhana reference was filed against Khan by the ruling coalition in August over his failure to disclose the details of gifts he had received from foreign governments and dignitaries during his time as prime minister, as well as the proceeds from their subsequent sale. The reference was submitted to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who forwarded it to the CEC for further action.

According to rules governing the Toshakhana, all gifts received by persons to whom the rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division. However, the PTI had resisted this, claiming it would endanger international ties, as some states did not like to have the value of their gifts disclosed. However, as the case before the ECP progressed, Khan admitted to selling at least four of the gifts he had received during his tenure as the prime minister.

The PTI has, in recent weeks, heaped criticism on the ECP, accusing the electoral watchdog of bias, with political observers saying this was preparation for a potential adverse verdict in the Toshakhana reference. Khan’s lawyer in the case has even argued that the ECP lacks the jurisdiction to decide on the case.

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