Former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) minister and MPA Ziaullah Afridi on Monday appeared before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for a hearing pertaining to a reference filed against him by PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
In the reference, filed on Sept 27, the PTI chief has sought Afridi's disqualification from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the grounds that the former minister had confirmed last month that he would be joining the PPP.
A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by the chief election commissioner, noted that Afridi had become a member of the KP Assembly on the PTI's ticket. The ECP told Afridi that the reference says he has joined the PPP and asked him to file a written response by October 23.
The former minister asked the bench to allow him more time to submit his response as his father is undergoing treatment. In reply, the bench said that a decision on the reference has to be made within 30 days.
Nobody from PTI was present at the ECP during Monday's hearing.
Earlier in August, Afridi levelled allegations of corruption against KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and KP finance minister Muzafar Said and announced that he would soon stage a sit-in outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) offices in the provincial capital to force the anti-corruption body into acting against the two.
Afridi had also criticised PTI’s chief Imran Khan and Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq for not taking action against the CM and finance minister over the illegal appointment of the Bank of Khyber’s managing director.
The former minister said he had secured ‘solid’ evidence of the corrupt practices of the KP ruling parties and would soon make them public through media.
Afridi had also said that CM had established the KPEC just to victimise his political rivals.
In October 2016, Afridi was released on bail after having spent 15 months in prison.
He had been arrested by the KPEC on the charges of misusing authority and allowing illegal mining in various areas of the province.
While he was in detention, the PTI had suspended Afridi's basic party membership.