February 8 Polls
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) received a significant legal victory on Friday as the Supreme Court granted permission for five of its candidates, including the party’s president, Parvez Elahi, to contest the upcoming February 8 elections. Despite being incarcerated in Adiala Jail, Elahi was allowed to participate in the general election from the PP-32 constituency in the Gujarat district.
The Supreme Court approved appeals from PTI candidates Umer Aslam, Major (retd) Tahir Sadiq, Sanam Javaid Khan, and Shukat Basra against decisions by returning officers to reject their nomination papers from various constituencies. Elahi had previously challenged the Lahore High Court’s decision, which upheld the Election Tribunal’s rejection of his nomination papers for National Assembly constituency NA-64 (Gujrat-III) and Punjab Assembly constituency PP-34 (Gujrat-VIII).
During the hearing before a three-member bench, Elahi’s counsel, Advocate Faisal Siddiqui, pointed out discrepancies in objections raised by rival candidates and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Siddiqui emphasized the urgency of the matter, urging the court to grant permission for Elahi to contest the elections in Gujarat without delay.
The judges, including Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Athar Minallah, expressed concern that only one political party seemed to be facing such challenges.
They highlighted the importance of facilitating the election process and ensuring voters’ rights. The court declared the returning officer’s decision to reject Elahi’s nomination papers from PP-32 invalid, allowing him to contest the polls.
Apart from Elahi, the Supreme Court also permitted PTI candidates Tahir Sadiq and Omer Aslam Awan to contest elections from NA-49 (Attock) and NA-87 (Khushab) constituencies, respectively. Sanam Javaid Khan was cleared to contest polls from NA-119, NA-120, and PP-125, while Shukat Basra received approval to fight elections from NA-163 (Bahawalnagar). The decisions mark a significant development for PTI ahead of the crucial February 8 polls.