• Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says he is not happy over Imran Khan’s disqualification. 
  • Says Imran Khan once accuses others of corruption. 
  • But, has not been proven to be guilty of the same corruption, he says.

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday said that he is not happy over PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Toshakahana reference.

The ECP, in a consensus verdict in the Toshakana reference, disqualified Imran Khan and ruled that he is no longer a member of the National Assembly. The Election Commission also directed criminal proceedings to be initiated against Imran for misdeclaration.

The ECP ruled that Imran Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

Speaking on on Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath‘ after the verdict, Abbasi said it is not appropriate to be happy about making false statements and concealing facts while being the prime minister. 

“The one who accused others of corruption has been proven corrupt himself. It is a test for the Supreme Court now. Let’s see how it decides the issue.”

Recalling Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification in the Panamagate, Abbasi said the apex court became a trial court and deposed a prime minister on minor charges.

He criticised Imran Khan, saying he is destabilizing the country for his own sake. He said the PTI chief imprisoned his opponents without lodging any case. 

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed the same views hours before the ECP announced its verdict in the Toshakhana reference against Imran Khan. He said that they do not want to see anyone disqualified from politics.

“We do not want to see anyone disqualified. Competition in politics should be on the ground,” said the former prime minister while talking to the media in Karachi.

The PML-N leader was in the port city to appear before an accountability court in the reference filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau on the illegal appointment of the former managing director of Pakistan State Oil.

The Toshakhana Case

The ECP had reserved its verdict in the Toshakhana case on September 19 after arguments were completed from both sides. A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the case.

In August 2022, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A, and 223, seeking former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification in the light of the Toshakhana scam.

The disqualification reference was filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PML-N’s Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, and five others.

The 28-page reference identified 52 gift items of Toshakhana received by the former prime minister, violating the law and rules, taken away at nominal prices and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including some precious watches.

The assessed value of the gifts has been put at Rs 142,042,100. The gifts were received between August 2018 and December 2021.

According to PML-N MNA Ranjha, Khan concealed information about the gift of watches by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his statement of assets submitted in 2018-2019.

This withholding of information is tantamount to lying which, according to Ranjha, is a crime under Section 137. He thus said that Khan was no more Sadiq and Ameen and should be slapped with disqualification for life from contesting the election under Article 62(1)(f), Article 2, Article 3 of the Constitution.

Article 62(1)(f) is the same legal instrument that disqualified former PM Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections and led to his removal from power, Ranjha said. 

–Thumbnail: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Geo/File


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