ISLAMABAD (A1TV News)Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Toshakhana case.
A four-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja announced the unanimous decision.
In the decision, it has been said that Imran Khan is no longer a member of the National Assembly, adding that he submitted a false affidavit and has been involved in corrupt practices.
The electoral watchdog declared Imran Khan’s National Assembly seat as vacant.
ECP further added that Imran Khan is no longer ‘Sadiq and Amin’ and legal action should be initiated against him.
On September 19, the ECP had reserved its verdict in the Toshakhana case moved by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), seeking disqualification of Imran Khan for alleged foul play related to Toshakhana gifts.
Barrister Ali Zafar and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan represented the PTI chairman as defence lawyers in the case hearing.
A five-member ECP bench headed by the CEC heard arguments before reserving its decision.
The Toshakhana case was brought before the electoral watchdog last year after the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) had accepted an application on the matter and had directed the Cabinet Division to provide information about the gifts received by then-prime minister Imran Khan from foreign dignitaries.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s written response
Imran Khan had submitted his written response to the Election Commission on September 7 related to the Toshakhana reference.
According to the submitted response, 58 gifts were given to then-prime minister Imran Khan and his wife during the period from August 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021.
The gifts were mostly made up of flower vases, tablecloth, decorative items, wall decorations, small carpets, wallets, perfumes, prayer beads, calligraphy, frames, paperweights and pen holders, including watches, pens, cufflinks, rings, bracelets/lockets.
In the response, Imran Khan clarified that in all these gifts, there were only 14 items worth more than 30 thousand rupees, which he bought by paying money under regular procedure.
In his reply, the PTI chairman admitted that he had sold four gifts during his tenure as Prime Minister, and he further denied the allegations of concealing Toshakhana gifts.
It should be noted that National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the Election Commission for the disqualification of Imran Khan pertaining to the Toshakhana case in early August.
In the reference, it was said that Imran Khan did not mention the gifts taken from Toshakhana and the amount recieved from the sale of these gifts in his assets.
Earlier in April, the former prime minister while talking about the aforementioned during an informal media interaction said that these were his gifts and it was his choice whether to keep them or not.
PTI Leadership reaction
While talking to media, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “Today we all say that we do not accept the minus one” decision.
Qureshi added that people of Pakistan are with Imran Khan as the masses had rejected the current rulers on July 17. He said that the rulers are mistaken that if they can run the democracy with the PTI Chairman.
Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that this is a wrong decision, ECP cannot de-seat Imran Khan.
PTI leader Asad Umar said that the party will take this to the High Court and this verdict will not even stand for a few hours.
While Shahbaz Gill added that this verdict has been written by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. He said that this verdict has been signed by the “personal servant” of Nawaz Sharif and people reject this verdict.
The party leadership said that this kind of verdict has never been witnessed before. This verdict is announced against the 22 crore people. The PTI leadership questioned that why don t the Chief Election Commissioner join the Pakistan Democratic movement (PDM)? They said that today Pakistan will be revolutionized. They will kick out these rulers from the assembly and save the constitution.