Election tribunal bars ex-foreign minister Qureshi from contesting four seats in Pakistan polls

Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Lahore: In a major setback for the Tehreek-e-Insaf party, its senior vice-president and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been disqualified from contesting four out of five seats in the upcoming general elections in Pakistan. The elections are scheduled to be held on February 8, 2024.

According to a report by ‘The News International’, an appellate election tribunal on Saturday upheld the decision of the returning officer to reject Qureshi’s nomination papers for two National Assembly seats and two provincial assembly seats in Multan, Punjab province. The tribunal ruled that Qureshi was ineligible to contest from these constituencies as he had failed to declare his assets and liabilities, and had violated the code of conduct for candidates.

However, the tribunal allowed Qureshi to contest from the NA-214 constituency in Umerkot, Sindh province, where he is facing a tough challenge from the Pakistan People’s Party candidate Nawab Yousuf Talpur. Qureshi, who is 67 years old, is currently in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where he was arrested last month on charges of leaking confidential documents to a foreign journalist.

Qureshi, who served as the foreign minister from 2008 to 2011, is one of the most prominent leaders of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He has been vocal in criticizing the opposition parties, especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, for alleged corruption and misrule. He has also been advocating for better relations with India and Afghanistan, and for resolving the Kashmir issue through dialogue.


Qureshi’s disqualification has sparked protests by his supporters, who have accused the election authorities of being biased and influenced by the ruling party. Multan High Court Bar Association President Rana Asif Saeed, who is also Qureshi’s lawyer, said that the election tribunal had rejected Qureshi’s appeal without giving him a fair hearing. He said that he would challenge the tribunal’s verdict in the Supreme Court.