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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered the Islamabad Police to arrest PTI Chief, Imran Khan days after issuing his arrest warrants on Saturday. The top elections body has ordered the police to present Khan before it on the 25th of this month.

Kulsoom Nawaz’s nomination papers to the use of state machinery for her campaign. Khan is likely to ramp up its criticism of the ECP, should Ms. Kulsoom go on to win the by-polls tomorrow

The ECP wrote a letter to SSP Operations, Islamabad stating that Khan was charged with contempt of the ECP under section 103-A of the  Representation of Peoples’ Act (Ropa), 1976. Earlier in the week, Khan did not appear in front of the ECP on which his counsel, Babar Awan said that Khan just arrived an hour before proceedings.

The letter signed by additional director general law, Malik Mujtaba Ahmad “directed the police” to arrest Mr. Khan and produce him before the court.

Read more: Who will triumph in the battle for NA-120?

The ECP’s written order gave the reasons as to why the ECP has issued these directives. The order reads: “From the discussion by the learned counsel on either side, it is informed that the respondent is available in the country today, but yet he did not care to appear. It seems that every order of the commission is violated day in and day out. The commission is constrained to and hereby issues a bailable warrant of arrest in the sum of Rs 100,000 with two sureties under Section 76 read with Section 86 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

Last month, ECP issued a second show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to reply to the earlier notice regarding the contempt of court proceedings against him

The contempt of court case against Imran Khan was filed by PTI dissident and one of the founding members Akbar S. Babar. Khan has been issued show-cause notices in the past by the ECP. The first notice was issued on 24th January over his remarks about the Commission. Khan has often accused the ECP of being biased and under influence of the government. He believes that the Sharifs thrive on damaging national institutions, using them for eking out safe passages in their operations.

Read more: What if Kulsoom Nawaz doesn’t win from NA-120?

Khan challenged the jurisdiction of the body in hearing the contempt of court case. However, the ECP said in its decision on 10th August that it has the legal right to hear the case. Last month, ECP issued a second show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to reply to the earlier notice regarding the contempt of court proceedings against him.

The order reads: “From the discussion by the learned counsel on either side, it is informed that the respondent is available in the country today, but yet he did not care to appear

The Islamabad advocate general has also been asked to appear before the commission on Sept 25 to conduct contempt proceedings against the 65-year old Khan. “As the matter pertains to contempt proceedings under Section 103 of the Ropa, 1976 read with Article 204 of the Constitution, a notice is hereby given to you so that you may appear and conduct the proceedings before the commission,” the letter entailed.

Read more: Real stakes in NA-120: Maryam Nawaz’s future in peril..?

The pressure on Khan is expected to mount more especially after the Sharif’s family review petition was set aside by the 5-member bench of the apex court on Friday. The role of the ECP has remained controversial in the by-polls of NA-120 right from accepting Kulsoom Nawaz’s nomination papers to the use of state machinery for her campaign. Khan is likely to ramp up its criticism of the ECP, should Ms. Kulsoom go on to win the by-polls tomorrow.

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