Imran Khan to explain how he can head party after ‘disqualification’-ECP

A notice has been issued to Mr Khan to appear before the commission on Jan 11, either in person or through his counsel, to give an explanation.

The notice has been sent to the PTI chairman through the district election commissioner of Islamabad, Waqas Ahmad Malik, and the case has been fixed for hearing on Jan 11 at 10am before the commission.

The notice explains that ECP had conducted hearing on Dec 20, 2022, whereby the order was passed that “after hearing the applicant, we have observed that the respondent Mr Imran Khan Niazi is holding the position as chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, despite having been disqualified/de-seated from NA-95, Mianwali-I, in the order passed on October 21, 2022, by the Election Commission on account of making false statements and incorrect declaration about his assets and liabilities”.

“It is further observed by the commission that pursuant to the pronouncement of the august Supreme Court of Pakistan reported as PLD 2017 SC692, he being a disqualified person, cannot hold post as chairman of a political party i.e. PTI. The respondent be put on notice to explain his position on 11.01.2023,” it says.

The ECP had last month set into motion the process to remove Mr Khan as chairman of PTI in light of the election watchdog’s verdict in the Toshakhana case, which disqualified him under Article 63(1)(p) for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

The PTI, while reacting to the development had asserted that the law did not place any bar on a convict from becoming an office-bearer of a political party.

According to Section 5(1) of the now defunct Political Parties Order (PPO), 2002, “Every citizen… shall have the right to form or be a member of a political party or be otherwise associated with a political party or take part in political activities or be elected as an office-bearer of a political party: 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-i-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.”

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