PESHAWAR: The PTI on Monday approached the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in order to get reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies.

A petition, filed by advocate Mashal Yousafzai through advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwar, said the ECP’s interpretation of political party as mentioned in Rule 94(4) of the Election Rules 2017 should be declared unconstitutional and unlawful as it has deprived PTI of reserved seats for women and minority.

The petition recalled that ECP on Nov 23, 2023 ordered PTI to hold intra-party polls within 20 days. The party held the intra-party polls and elected Barrister Gohar Ali Khan its chairman and Omar Ayub general secretary.

However, the ECP did not upload the party certificate on its website, leading PTI to approach the PHC which voided the ECP’s action. The Supreme Court later accepted an appeal against the PHC verdict and deprived PTI of its election symbol ‘bat’.

Faisal Javed reappears, says Imran to contest election from Mianwali; Gandapur seeks ‘exemplary’ punishment for ousting govt

The petition read that PTI had submitted a list for women and minority reserved seats in the assemblies.

It read that PTI candidates contested polls as independent candidates, adding that despite many hurdles the PTI-backed candidates won majority seats of the national as well as the KP Assembly.

The petition read that the party would be deprived of reserved seats if it failed to join any political party. It pointed out that not the ECP, but the Supreme Court could delist a party.

The petition contended that the ECP’s interpretation of Rule 94(4) of the Election Rules 2017 was unconstitutional and urged the court to declare it null and void and order allotting their party women and minority reserved seats just like other political parties.

Faisal Javed resurfaces

PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan, who went into hiding because of several cases registered against him after the party faced state crackdown in the wake of May 9 riots, resurfaced and got a transit bail from PHC.

[Imran] Khan will be contesting election from Mianwali and will soon become the prime minister of Pakistan again, the senator said while talking to Geo News on the court premises.

Mr Javed said their position on May 9 saga was clear, adding they wanted an inv­estigation [into the riots]. He said bogus cases were filed against him and the court granted him transit bail on Monday.

Exemplary punishments

PTI nominee for KP chief minister Ali Amin Gandapur, who also secured transit bail from PHC in various cases, said the practice of toppling elected governments would not stop until exemplary punishments were awarded to the perpetrators.

Speaking to reporters, he said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had identified the people involved in the conspiracy under which the PTI government was toppled through a no-trust motion.

“I request the Supreme Court to summon the actors involved in toppling the elected government of PTI and probe them,” he said. It’s not a joke to dishonour the public mandate through a conspiracy, he emphasised.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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