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Pakistan

ECP to announce verdict in Toshakhana reference against Imran on Friday

  • Election Commission orders all relevant parties to appear before electoral watchdog
Published October 20, 2022

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said Thursday that it will announce its verdict in the Toshakhana case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday, Aaj News reported.

The Election Commission has issued notices to all relevant parties in this regard. The verdict would be announced at 2 pm.

The ECP had reserved its verdict in the case, moved by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), seeking the disqualification of Imran for alleged foul play related to Toshakhana gifts on September 20.

A five-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Nisar Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Babar Bharwana, and former Justice Ikramullah Khan heard the case.

Barrister Ali Zafar and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan represented the PTI chairman as defence lawyers in the case hearing.

During the last hearing, Zafar contended that the first four Toshakhana gifts that Imran Khan received as Prime Minister in the financial year 2018-19 were valued at 58 million rupees.

Taxes on these gifts were duly paid and all legal formalities were fulfilled before these gifts were sold, he added.

The tax paid on the income following the sale of these gifts has been reflected in the tax returns filed by the PTI chief, the defence counsel maintained.

The lawmakers are required to submit the details of their assets with the ECP by December 31 each year, he added.

Zafar asserted that no court of law declared that Khan was not Sadiq (truthful) and Ameen (trustworthy).

“If any court has not so decided—how can a reference be sent to the ECP to declare that he (Khan) is not Sadiq and Ameen? How can ECP act as a court of law to decide this case?” the defence lawyer questioned.

He said that the ECP was a constitutional entity that had all the relevant constitutional powers.

“But the ECP is not a court of law and it is not for this forum to decide on the morality aspect,” Zafar, the PTI senator, stated.

In his arguments, Khalid Ishaq, the prosecution lawyer, alleged that Khan concealed the details of the Toshakhana gifts, which he sold, from the ECP.

He said that the ECP was constitutionally empowered to disqualify any lawmaker from concealing their assets.

Earlier this month, the PTI chairman submitted a 60-page reply to the Toshakhana case, wherein, he dubbed this case against him as “misleading” and “false” and requested the electoral body to dismiss it forthwith.

In his reply, he disclosed that some 329 official gifts were received when the PTI was in the federal government. He further stated that out of these gifts, 58 were received by him and his wife, and only 14 of these gifts were valued at more than Rs14,000 each.

The former PM further maintained that all the details of the gifts he lawfully bought from Toshakhana were duly declared at the relevant forums including the tax returns (filed with the Federal Board of Revenue – FBR) and the wealth statements (filed with the ECP).

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Kashif ALI Oct 21, 2022 03:23am
He deserves to be disqualified.
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