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After a brief Hiatus, Imran Khan, the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has once again decided to confront former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif as he moved the Supreme Court on Monday, challenging the Elections Bill 2017. 

The bill, passed by the Parliament allowed Sharif to become the head of the PML-N despite being disqualified by the Supreme Court in its unanimous decision on the Panama Case.

Khan had vociferously rejected Nawaz’s re-election terming it a destruction of the vestige of morality in Pakistani politics

The petition was filed by PTI’s counsel Dr. Babar Awan under Article 184 (3) of the constitution. It stated that the amendments brought about through the Election Reforms Act 2017, were in repugnance to the constitution as a disqualified person could not become the head of a political party under various provisions of the constitution.

The petition stated that since there is no precedent of introducing such bills, the government has indicated that it is not heeding the orders of the apex court.Experts have pointed towards how the government, through many of its actions, has flouted the orders of the Supreme Court. As of today, the government accorded full protocol to the former premier as he went to face the accountability court.

Read more: Nawaz’s rare outburst against Zardari exposes PPP-PML(N) tensions

While contending that the amendment was in direct conflict with Article 204 and 175 of the constitution, it stated that the entire exercise was done to reinstate one person_, Nawaz Sharif. Detractors of the PML-N are unable to come to grips with the party’s singular focus on Nawaz Sharif especially at a time when it is fully in charge of the government.

Imran Khan, the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has once again decided to confront former prime minister.

The petition further said since the amendments made through Election Act were against Article 175 and 204 of the constitution,  clauses 9, 10 and 203 of the act may be declared void.

The proviso to section 5(I) of the Political Parties Order debars a disqualified person from holding office in a political party. It reads: “Provided that a person shall not be appointed or serve as an office-bearer of a political party if he is not qualified to be, or is disqualified from being, elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parlia­ment) under Article 63 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or under any other law for the time being in force.” It was done away with in September; thereafter, Nawaz was triumphantly elected as the president of the PML-N.

The government accorded full protocol to the former premier as he went to face the accountability court.

Eyebrows were raised as to why a person punished by a court of law on account of forgery and cheating can steer forward a political party. Khan had vociferously rejected Nawaz’s re-election terming it a destruction of the vestige of morality in Pakistani politics.

Read more: Imran lambasts Nawaz Sharif for using taxpayers funds for own entourage

However, watchers feel that regardless of heading the party, Sharif is consulted, revered and is the defacto head of the party and the government. The bill has just given his activities a legal cover. Experts are intrigued that the 67-year old is being accorded the same status even after being indicted by the accountability court in the graft references. His position in the party apparently has not been dented by last month’s amendment in the Elections Bill 2017.

However, people following the developments closely assert that given the very many rifts in the PML-N, Nawaz’s position within the party is being challenged. Perhaps, this is why Khan feels that he can inflict yet another blow to Nawaz.

The bill, passed by the Parliament allowed Sharif to become the head of the PML-N.

Lately, Khan has turned his guns towards the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP). However, he is still wary of the influence that Sharif has on the government and the ruling party.

Read more: Imran’s case vs Nawaz’s case; no comparison?

The new petition is likely to mount more pressure on the even otherwise beleaguered Sharif. Analysts see the ball in the court of the PML-N: will it act as a ruling party and expedite the process of accountability or go out of the way to save the former top man’s skin?

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