Following PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s disqualification in the Toshakhana reference, PTI has decided to challenge the verdict.
In a major development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the verdict in the Toshakhana reference and disqualified Imran Khan by stating that Imran Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices.
A four-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, announced the verdict at the ECP Secretariat in Islamabad. Imran Khan is also no more a member National Assembly.
الیکشن کیمشن نے تحریک انصاف کے چیئرمین عمران کو نااہل قرار دے دیا
— Arif Hameed Bhatti (@arifhameed15) October 21, 2022
Rejecting the verdict, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said that their lawyers are ready with the petition and the verdict will be challenged in the High Court. Moreover, Asad Umar said that the “Minus Imran Khan” formula will never be successful.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) October 21, 2022
Read more: Toshakhana: The mother of all corruption?
Meanwhile, reacting strongly to the party chairman’s disqualification, PTI leader Fawad Hussain Chaudhry slammed the ECP. Fawad Chaudry said the Election Commission’s attitude had been the worst. “We never pinned any hopes on it.”
“This is a shameful decision. They have shamed the 220-million-strong-nation,” Fawad Chaudhry said while terming the decision as an assault on the institutions of Pakistan.
Toshakhana case against Imran Khan
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.
In August 2022, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A, and 223, seeking former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification in the light of the Toshakhana scam.
The disqualification reference was filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PML-N’s Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, and five others. The 28-page reference identified 52 gift items of Toshakhana received by the former prime minister Khan, violating the law and rules, taken away at nominal prices, and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including some precious watches.
According to PML-N MNA Ranjha, Imran Khan concealed information about the gift of watches by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his statement of assets submitted in 2018-2019.
This withholding of information is tantamount to lying which, according to Ranjha, is a crime under Section 137. He thus said that Khan was no more Sadiq and Ameen and should be slapped with disqualification for life from contesting the election under Article 62(1)(f), Article 2, Article 3 of the Constitution.