ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday disqualified PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tosha Khana reference for five years on charges of declaration under article 63(1)P of the constitution of Pakistan.
Article 63 (1) (p) of the Constitution states that an individual is, “for the time being, disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a provincial assembly under any law for the time being in force”.
Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja announced the reserved verdict unanimously, handed down by five-member bench.
Member National Assembly (MNA) Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, carrying signatures of lawmakers Agha Hassan Baloch, Salahudeen Ayubi, Ali Gohar Khan, Syed Rafiullah Agha and Saad Waseem Sheikh had submitted the reference to National Assembly’s speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, alleging PTI Chief and ex-Prime Minister Imran khan for “not sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.
Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, subsequently forwarded the reference in the month of August to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja for further action.
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.
However, the PTI Chief, while in the government, had been reluctant to disclose details of the gifts presented to him since he assumed office in 2018, maintaining that doing so would jeopardize international ties, even as the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) ordered it to do so.
But later, in a written reply submitted to the ECP Imran Khan had admitted to selling at least four presents he had received during his tenure as the prime minister.
In his reply, he had maintained that the sale of the gifts that he had procured from the state treasury after paying Rs 21.56 million fetched about Rs 58 m.
One of the gifts included a graff wristwatch, a pair of cuff links, an expensive pen, and a ring, while the other three gifts included four Rolex watches.
Meanwhile, at the request of ECP, a heavy contingent of Police personnel was deployed outside the Election Commission of Pakistan for maintaining law and order. The ECP had stressed that all necessary security arrangements be completed, particularly inside the ECP secretariat’s building, and the matter was treated as “most urgent”.
Meanwhile, PTI leadership has rejected ECP’s verdict disqualifying their chairman and started staging protests in different parts of the country.
PTI workers across the country took to the streets on Friday in protest after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified party chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference in a massive win for the ruling coalition.
The PTI has said that it will challenge the electoral watchdog’s decision in the Islamabad High Court. At the same time, party leader Fawad Chaudhry asked the public to take to streets “for their rights”.
Following the ECP’s verdict, party workers flooded the streets in major cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.