In a decision that surprised many, the appellate election tribunal of Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench has disqualified former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for life on charges of "concealment of facts and withholding information from his voters" in his nomination forms submitted for NA-57 Murree.
The tribunal, in its detailed verdict, said Abbasi does not qualify to contest the election under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. Abbasi has been found "guilty of concealment of facts and withholding of the complete information from his voters," the judgement reads.
The candidate "is not a Sadiq and Ameen person and after such declaration, declare him as not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) within the meaning of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973."
Rawalpindi's Election Appellate Tribunal judge Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi had reserved his judgement two days ago over a plea filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker Masuad Ahmed Abbasi against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's nomination papers.
The applicant stated that Khaqan Abbasi had tempered his records submitted to the Returning Officer and provided incorrect details about his properties. He said the former prime minister has encroached forest Land of Lawrence College while he has also provided incorrect information regarding ownership of his property in Sector F-7-II. Admitting all the objections raised by applicant, the tribunal rejected nomination papers of Abbasi.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced to challenge the decision of appellate tribunal and to move against the judge in supreme judicial Council. He declared the decision as politically motivated.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is confident that this decision will be set-aside by High Court and he will contest the election from his home constituency NA-57 Murree. He won this constituency many times since 1990s. He lost just once in 2002 against Murtaza Satti of PPP.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is also contesting the elections from NA-53 Islamabad against Imran Khan.
ACE News Election Cell