LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) dealt a significant blow to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, rejecting his appeal against the rejection of nomination paper for the upcoming February 8 general elections. The decision by the high court upheld the earlier rulings of the returning officer (RO) and appellate tribunal, which had deemed Imran Khan’s nomination papers unacceptable for NA-122 and NA-89 constituencies.
A three-member bench, led by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, heard the appeal on Wednesday. Imran Khan argued in his plea that the rejection of his nomination papers was not aligned with the facts and requested permission to contest the forthcoming polls. Despite the arguments presented by both sides, the LHC bench ultimately dismissed Imran Khan’s appeal, affirming the previous decisions against his nomination papers.
The ousted prime minister had submitted his nomination papers for candidacy in Lahore’s NA-122 and Mianwali’s NA-89 constituencies. In addition to Imran Khan’s case, the high court also addressed a series of petitions filed by other prominent PTI members challenging the rejection of their nominations.
The appeals filed by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PTI Secretary General Hammad Azhar, PTI leader Latif Khosa’s son Khurram Latif Khosa, and PTI activist Sanam Javaid were also dismissed by the larger bench.
This development poses a significant challenge to the PTI, whose leadership is already grappling with various legal issues, particularly those related to the May 9 riots. Some senior leaders, including Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, find themselves behind bars. The rejection of multiple nominations adds to the political complexity faced by the PTI in the lead-up to the general elections.