RAWALPINDI – The Election Tribunal (ET) comprising Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh and Justice Mahoon Rasheed of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday continued hearing the appeals of candidates of various political parties regarding rejection of their nomination papers on different grounds by Returning Officers (ROs).

The ET reserved its verdict on the two appeals of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) head and former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf whereas fixed April 15, 2013, the date for hearing the plea of former Prime Minister of Pakistan and PPP candidate for NA-51 Gujar Khan Raja Pervaiz Ashraf he filed against the rejection of his nomination papers.

The acceptance of nomination papers of N League Raja Javed Ikhlas for NA-51 and Muhammad Hanif Abbasi for NA-56 were also challenged. PTI Chief Imran Khan also filed objections against the nomination papers of his rival Ubaid Ullah Shadikhel from NA-71 Mianwali. However, Imran Khan, Zamurad Khan of PPP and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of N League, PPP’s candidate for NA-50 Ghulam Murtaza Satti, PTI’s Aaila Malik backed in election race in their constituencies as ET allowed them to contest elections while setting off the objections on their nomination papers. 

According to details, the ET accepted the application of former PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf he filed against rejection of his nomination papers for NA-51 on grounds of awarding illegal tenders and misusing funds.

Raja filed his petition through PPP Senator Farooq H. Neak before the ET of LHC Rawalpindi bench seeking clearance of his papers. The ET fixed April 15 for hearing the application.

A Gujar Khan RO Khalid Arshad had rejected the nomination papers of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf after Raja Irfan Aziz, a relative of Raja’s political rival filed objection to RO that the candidate had misused discretionary funds in his constituency. Therefore his papers should be rejected.

Meanwhile, Advocate Farooq Naek filed an objection over acceptance of nomination papers of his client’s political rival PML-N big wig Raja Javed Ikhlas. The ET set April 13 to hear the appeal. Neak, while responding to queries of reporters outside the court, said that Raja Pervez Ashraf has the legal and constitutional right to contest the general elections. He said that Raja has been facing mere allegations and nothing could be proved against him in any court of law. He said that the former PM never misused his discretionary power and has the great respect for judiciary ample proof of which he wrote a letter to Swiss Authorities in compliance with Supreme Court orders.

Naek said that PPP held the judiciary in high esteem and worked to uphold the principal of rule of law and supremacy of the constitution. Similarly, the ET completed initial hearing about maintainability of two appeals relating to military dictator and former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and reserved its judgment.

The ET took up the two appeals one filed by Pervez Musharraf against rejection of his nomination papers for NA- 48 (Islamabad) by RO and the other filed against acceptance of his nomination papers for NA-32 (Chitral). After conclusion of the arguments of both parties, ET reserved its verdict.

Musharraf had filed his nomination papers from four constituencies of the National Assembly including NA-32, NA-48, NA-139 and NA-250, out of which his candidature was accepted only from NA-32.

A PPP Jiyala Azhar Iqbal filed objections with ET against the approval of nomination papers of N league former MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi for NA-56. ET observed that the appeal would be heard after two days.

On Saturday, the ET would take up the application filed by PTI Chief Imran Khan against his rival in NA-71 Mianwali Ubaid Ullah Shadikhel accusing him of corruption and seeking rejection of his nomination papers. The ET, after hearing the arguments of both parties, sent the nomination papers of a PPP former MNA Aslam Mahdian, also aspirant of ticket in PP-31 Sargodha, to Election Commission of Pakistan for further decision. Madhiana earned country wide public wrath over thrashing a teacher namely Nafees Lodhi brutally fracturing his legs and arm. 

The objections over nomination papers of PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were also rejected by ET allowing Chaudhry to test his fate in NA-52, NA-53 and PP-7 as PML-N candidate. Nasir was facing allegations of providing fake degrees and hiding assets at the time of filing his papers.

PTI Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the arch rival of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, and two of his brothers would face ET on April 13 to reply the objections of fake degrees filed against them by voters in NA-53. The decision of ET burst smiles on the faces of scores of N league workers gathered in court premises as they chanted slogan in favor of Ch Nisar Ali Khan. Meanwhile, a clash was also about to occurred between the supporters of Chaudhry and Ghulam Sarwar for chanting slogans against each other. Reportedly, the court seized mobile phone of two N league supporters on account of filming arguments of Sarwar’s counsel during the hearing of appeals.

PPP NA-50 candidate Ghulam Murtaza Satti was also among the successful who got clean chit from ET to contest elections. Aila Malik of PTI also declared illegible by ET for contesting elections.

The ET while hearing appeals observed that they would complete hearings in all the election appeals till April 17.