The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrants for PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party leaders Fawad Chowdhury and Asad Umar in a case of contempt of the electoral body. Dawn’s news.
A four-member ECP bench headed by member Nisar Durrani passed the order.
In August and September last year, the ECP had issued contempt notices against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and the Election Observers Agency to Imran, Umar, Chowdhury, Mian Shabbir Ismail and Daniyal Khalid Khokar for allegedly using ‘intemperate’ language.
Party leaders have repeatedly claimed the commission and Raja are biased and have often termed the electoral body as a ‘PML-N ally’.
In the previous hearing, the ECP had given PTI leaders a last chance to appear before the commission. It was warned that their absence before the commission at the next hearing on January 17 would result in the issuance of arrest warrants.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the ECP rejected the PTI leaders’ plea seeking exemption from appearing before the commission and issued arrest warrants against a surety bond of Rs 50,000 each.
Later, the bench adjourned the hearing till January 17.
Reacting to the tweet, Umar said that the ECP has indulged in such acts instead of fulfilling its duties. By not electing Islamabad, they themselves are guilty of contempt of court.
Chowdhury said that he will file a contempt of court case against the election monitoring. The case was supposed to be heard on January 17, but it was fixed today in violation of the rules. This is yet another biased verdict issued by ECP members.
PTI lawyer Babar Awan, meanwhile, claimed that the ECP was being used to campaign against Imran.
“They are trying to disqualify him somehow,” he told reporters outside a court in Islamabad. But I tell you, this minus-one formula will not work on Imran Khan.’