New Delhi: In a major blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected the candidature of its chief and former Prime Minister Imran Khan for the 2024 national elections. Imran Khan, who is currently in jail facing multiple charges, has been declared ineligible to contest the polls by the ECP on the grounds of being a non-registered voter and a convicted person.
Imran Khan’s Nomination Rejected from Two Constituencies
Imran Khan, who was ousted from power in August 2023 after a Supreme Court verdict, had filed his nomination papers from two constituencies – Mianwali and Lohar. Mianwali is his hometown and the seat from where he was elected as a member of the National Assembly in 2018. Lohar is a newly created constituency in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.
However, the ECP rejected his nomination from both the constituencies, citing that he is not a registered voter of either of them. The ECP also said that he is disqualified from contesting the elections as he has been convicted by the court in several cases, including corruption, sedition, and contempt of court.
The ECP had earlier barred him from contesting the elections for five years in 2023 after he was found guilty of violating the election code of conduct and misusing state resources during the 2018 polls.
Imran Khan’s media team confirmed the rejection of his nomination and said that he will challenge the ECP’s decision in the court. PTI leaders also slammed the ECP for being biased and unfair and accused it of working under the influence of the ruling party.
Nawaz Sharif’s Nomination Accepted Despite Life Ban
In a surprising move, the ECP accepted the nomination of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also the chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. Nawaz Sharif, who is currently living in exile in London, had filed his nomination from Lahore.
Nawaz Sharif was banned for life from holding any public office by the Supreme Court in 2018, after he was found guilty of corruption and dishonesty in the Panama Papers case. He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he was released on bail in 2019 on medical grounds and left the country for treatment.
The ECP said that Nawaz Sharif’s nomination was accepted as he has not been convicted by any court in Pakistan and he is still a registered voter of Lahore. The ECP also said that it will verify his health condition and his eligibility to contest the polls.
Many PTI Leaders’ Nominations Cancelled
The ECP also cancelled the nominations of many other PTI leaders, who were hoping to contest the 2024 elections. Among them are former speaker of the Pakistani Parliament Asad Qaiser and Murad Saeed, who had filed their nominations from Peshawar. The ECP said that they are disqualified from contesting the elections as they are facing corruption and criminal charges.
The ECP also rejected the nominations of Sahibzada Sigbatullah, Dr. Amjad Khan, Fazal Hakim Khan, Mian Sharafat and Salim ur Rehman, who are prominent PTI leaders from different provinces. The ECP said that they have failed to submit the required documents and affidavits to prove their eligibility and integrity.
Famous Actresses, Singers, and Terrorists Among the Candidates
The upcoming general elections in Pakistan, which are scheduled to be held on 8 February 2024, have attracted many big personalities from various fields, who are trying their luck in politics. Some of them are famous actresses, some are social media celebrities, some are singers and some are the first Hindu women.
Among the notable candidates is Pakistan’s famous actress Noor Bukhari, who has filed her nomination from Islamabad. She is known for her roles in several Pakistani films and dramas. She is also a former wife of PTI leader Faisal Vawda, who is currently the Minister of Water Resources.
Another candidate is social media celebrity Sundal Khattak, who has filed her nomination from Karachi. She is a TikTok star and a model, who has a huge fan following on various platforms. She is also a close friend of another famous Pakistani actress, Hareem Shah, who is also a social media sensation.
A famous Pakistani singer Chahat Fateh Ali Khan, who is the nephew of the legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has also filed his nomination from Lahore. He is known for his soulful and melodious voice and has sung many songs for Bollywood films.
The first Hindu woman to contest general elections in Pakistan, Dr. Saveera Prakash, has also filed her nomination from Tharparkar. She is a dentist and a social activist, who works for the welfare of the minority communities in Pakistan. She is also a member of the PTI.
Talha Saeed, the son of terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, has also filed his nomination from Lahore. He is the chief of the political wing of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) group, which is a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror outfit. He is also wanted by India for his involvement in the Mumbai attack.