The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday filed a reference with the Election Commission of Pakistan seeking Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification under Articles 62 and 63 for concealing his foreign assets in his nomination forms.
The PTI’s move comes a day after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) hinted at leaving the dialogue process over the Terms of Reference (TORs) of the Panama Papers probe, and instead file graft cases against the Sharif family for keeping offshore holdings as revealed in Panama leaks.
Dr Yasmeen Rashid, who contested the 2013 general elections against the prime minister from NA-120 Lahore on a PTI ticket, has filed the reference against the PM.
“We have enough evidence to get the prime minister disqualified,” Dr Yasmeen said while addressing reporters.
“PTI has been left with only one option to take the matter of Panama Papers to court as any development on terms of reference (TOR) could not be made,” said party spokesperson Naeemul Haq.
Haq demanded that members of the top electoral body should be appointed at the earliest such that pending cases could be settled without delay.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters at his Bani Gala residence, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said the petition filed against the prime minister by his party was “a legal position that democracies follow”.
Despite filing the reference for PM’s disqualification in the ECP, the PTI chief cast doubts about the credibility of the electoral body, saying “This election commission is N-league’s election commission”.
“Judicial commission has given 40 findings regarding rigging in 2013 general elections but no action has been taken so far [by the ECP],” he said while addressing reporters.
Imran rejected the government’s claim his party was trying to destabilise democracy. “We are rather strengthening it,” he said.
“Democracy began with magna carta in the UK when industrialists demanded to bring the king under the rule of law. And in Pakistan we are also trying to bring King Nawaz Sharif under the law.”
Khan warned his party will go to the Supreme Court in case the ECP refused to hear the reference and will eventually go for street protests.
The PTI chairman, however, denied any possibility of an electoral alliance with any party. “It is a one-point agenda and we are all united on anti-corruption agenda, accountability should begin from Nawaz Sharif.”