Monday, February 6, 2023

Pakistan’s EC moves to oust Imran as chairman of PTI party

Pakistan’s Election Commission on Tuesday initiated the process to remove Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan from his post following his disqualification in the Toshakhana case.
A notice has been issued to the former prime minister and the case has been fixed for hearing on December 13, the Dawn newspaper reported, quoting a top ECP official. Khan,70, is in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana and selling them for profit.
He was later disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under Article 63 (i) (p) for making “false statements and incorrect declaration.”
According to the ECP records, the gifts were purchased from the Toshakhana — the state depository established in 1974 — for Rs 21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value, while they were valued at around Rs 108 million.
There have been numerous allegations and counter-allegations between Pakistan’s government and opposition since the news of the Toshakhana sale surfaced in the media. According to Pakistani law, overseas presents need to be deposited in the Toshakhana or treasury for valuation before allowing a recipient to keep it.
Officials in the government are required to report any gifts they receive, but they have a threshold below which they don’t have to disclose the full value.
Larger gifts are sent to Toshakhana, although the recipient may be able to buy them back at a discount of up to 50 per cent.
PTI officials said no law bars a convict from becoming an office-bearer of a political party.
In 2018, however, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, while hearing petitions against the Elections Act, ruled that a person disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution could not head a political party.
The ruling paved the way for Nawaz Sharif’s ouster as the head of the PML-N following his disqualification by the apex court under Article 62(1)(f).
Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Khan on Monday approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the government’s inquiry into the audio leaks related to the US cypher.
The LHC Registrar’s Office fixed the hearing of a petition of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman challenging a call-up notice by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in an inquiry into an audio leak regarding the US cypher controversy for Tuesday.
The cypher controversy involves alleged audio leaks featuring Khan trying to buy loyalties of lawmakers and also justifying his action before he was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April.
Khan alleged that a US-led conspiracy was targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.
The former cricketer-turned-politician, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

SourcePTI
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