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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership on Friday strongly criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after it announced its verdict in Toshakhana reference against their chairman Imran Khan, opining that the top electoral body had no mandate to hear the case.

Soon after the ECP – in a unanimous decision – disqualified Imran Khan under Article 63 (1) (P), the senior PTI leadership said they had already anticipated such a decision from the commission which they alleged is headed by “a highly controversial and a biased chief elections commissioner”.

PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood, after attending an emergent meeting chaired by party chief Imran Khan, minutes after the ECP’s verdict, said that the party has decided to challenge the ECP’s decision before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

He said that Barrister Ali Zafar, who was the lead counsel of Imran Khan in the case, has been asked to prepare the petition and file it before IHC.

ECP to announce verdict in Toshakhana reference against Imran on Friday

However, PTI leader Fawad Hussain Chaudhry told journalists that the ECP’s attitude had always been the worst and biased due to which we had never pinned any hope on it.

“It’s a shameful verdict…it [the ECP] has insulted the 220-million-strong-nation,” he alleged adding and this is the reason people from all over the country have taken to the streets.

PTI secretary general Asad Umar also condemned the decision in the strongest possible terms, terming it a travesty of justice.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s verdict against him in the Toshakhana reference is a conspiracy against him by the top electoral body as it is hand in glove with the mafias.

In a recorded video message released after the ECP’s verdict in Toshakhana reference, he lashed out at the ruling coalition for attempting to silence him and to break his party after it emerged as the only federal party in the country.

Khan also told his supporters to call off the protests being staged across the country against the ECP’s decision to disqualify him in the Toshakhana reference.

However, he vowed to continue his fight against the “thieves” till his last breath, saying there would be no rule of law unless the country gets rid of the mafias imposed on people through a foreign conspiracy.

At the same time, he called his supporters to gear up for the party’s long march, saying he would announce the biggest long march in the country by the end of the month.

“I will hold the biggest protest…my movement for real freedom will continue until supremacy of law is established,” he added.

He continued that the country is at a decisive moment, saying this is the time to rise against the thieves who have been plundering the national wealth for the last 30 years.

“We can’t get rid of these thieves until we prepare to struggle against them,” he added.

“I thank all my Pakistanis who took to the streets against a biased decision of an election commissioner [Sikander Sultan Raja] who gave a verdict as he is part of the conspiracy against me and my party,” he added.

He said that his party is going to challenge the ECP’s verdict in the court where everything would be clear, adding Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had taken out four expensive cars from Toshakhana, but the case is pending before the ECP for the last 10 years.

Taking a dig at the Chief Election Commissioner, Sikander Sultan Raja, he said that he is the man who had given almost eight to nine verdicts against PTI during the last two and a half years, which the courts overturned. “We kept trying to hold elections through EVMs [electronic voting machines], but this CEC in connivance with the PPP and the PML-N did not make that happen,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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