Islamabad: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s nomination papers for the February 8 general elections were rejected due to his conviction in the offence of “moral turpitude” in a corruption case and other reasons, the returning officer of the National Assembly seat has said.
On Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the nomination papers of the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party founder and several of his senior colleagues.
In an eight-page detailed decision, the returning officer (RO) of the National Assembly seat of Lahore (NA- 122) quoted the judgment of the additional session judge (Islamabad) that established Mr Khan’s conviction in the offence of “moral turpitude,” the Dawn newspaper reported on Monday.
Besides the main reason that Mr Khan was convicted in the Toshakhana corruption case, objections were raised against his nomination papers as the proposer and seconder for the PTI’s founder did not belong to the respective constituencies.
Although the Islamabad High Court suspended Mr Khan’s sentence, his five-year disqualification in the Toshakhana case still stands.
The former cricketer-turned-politician’s candidature was hit by Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the RO said, adding that the conviction had not been suspended or set aside by any court to date.
“In light of the above, the allegations levelled by the objector, Mian Naseer Ahmad, against the respondent, Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, are legal and substantial in nature and have succeeded in making out a case against the respondent. Consequently, the papers of the respondent from NA-122 stand rejected,” the report said, citing the verdict.
On Saturday, the PTI party condemned the top poll body’s rejection of the nomination papers of Mr Khan and several other party stalwarts on what it called “flimsy grounds.” Mr Khan and his senior party colleague and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been facing multiple cases and arrests since the May 9 riots, with both incarcerated at the high-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.