ABBOTTABAD, Sept 27: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered a setback on Friday when its minister for communication and works, Yousaf Ayub Khan, was disqualified by an election tribunal for submitting a fake degree before the 2002 general elections.

The tribunal presided over by Ziauddin Khattak announced the verdict on an election petition filed by Qazi Mohammad Asad, a former provincial minister who contested the 2013 general elections against Mr Khan. It directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold fresh election in the PK-50 (Haripur II) constituency.

The petitioner had claimed that Mr Khan was not ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ in terms of articles 62 and 63 of the constitution as he had produced a fake graduation degree for the 2002 elections and in 2013 he mentioned his qualification as intermediate.

Mr Asad through his counsel Abdul Shakoor Khan pleaded before the tribunal that Mr Khan be disqualified for submitting a fake degree.

Nomination papers of Mr Khan had been rejected by the returning officer concerned. But, an election appellate tribunal of the Peshawar High Court had accepted his appeal and allowed him to contest the election.

During the course of proceedings before the election tribunal the registrar of the Punjab University had appeared as witness and produced the record which showed the degree submitted by Mr Khan for the 2002 general elections as fake.

His counsel Mian Mohibullah Kakakhel contended that graduation was no longer a condition for contesting elections and, therefore, the objection raised by the petitioner was irrelevant.

Talking to media personnel in Peshawar after announcement of the verdict, Mr Kakakhel said he would challenge the decision before the Supreme Court. He was of the opinion that his client had a very strong case and that

the presiding officer had made a mistake in disqualifying him.



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