ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Pakistan’s election commission disqualified ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan from being a member of parliament, according to sources, after finding him guilty of “corrupt practices” in a unanimous decision.
This came days after Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party managed to secure six out of eight National Assembly seats in the crucial by-election on Sunday.
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Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party immediately rejected Friday’s ruling, challenging the commission’s jurisdiction of delivering such a verdict, as Aljazeera reported. It said it would file an appeal to the Islamabad High Court and called on supporters to take to the streets.
Speaking to reporters after the verdict, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry called the commission’s decision “embarrassing” and a “slap in the face” of Pakistan’s people.
“This verdict is not an attack on Imran Khan only. It is an attack on Pakistan’s constitution and its people,” he said, as Aljazeera wrote.
Call for Fair and Free Elections
Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists and supporter took to the streets in nearly all major cities of the country against runaway inflation, as the PTI Chairman Imran Khan warned any bid to rig the election would push the country towards anarchy.
The major protests were held at Islamabad’s F-9 Park, Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Quaideen, Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, Faisalabad’s Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Rawalpindi’s Commercial Market, Multan’s Shah Abdullah Chowk and Peshawar’s Hasht Nagari Gate, including some other cities of the country.
Khan addressed the public gatherings through video-link from Bani Gala, telling his supporters that he would soon give a call for peaceful agitation, which would end only with the announcement of an election date, as The News reported.
The PTI chairman warned that if the present rulers further stayed in power, they would dump all the state institutions as they had already buried NAB and FIA, according to reports, emphasizing the situation would deteriorate in the country if general elections were not free and fair.
“The direction in which the country is moving with exports plunging by 10 per cent and remittances falling, I fear that we are heading on the path of Sri Lanka, which did not have money to buy oil,” said Khan.
In April, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, where the opposition parties brought a motion against him for bad governance and economic mismanagement.