Imran disqualified in foreign gifts case

— Ruling out ‘minus one formula’, PTI challenges verdict in IHC

— Police manhandle PTI workers, leaders outside ECP offices, around capital

ISLAMABAD: In a unanimous verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former premier Imran Khan in Toshakhana (gift depository) reference, sparking countrywide protests.

In its verdict, the ECP disqualified the PTI chief under Article 63(1)(p) for making “false statements and incorrect declaration.”

The four-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Minister Sikander Sultan Raja declared Imran Khan’s National Assembly seat vacant as it unanimously decided that he had provided incorrect information in the case and disqualified him “for the time being”.

The verdict de-seated Imran as per Article-63 (A) and ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings against him for submitting a false statement. However, the ECP shied away from declaring the deposed premier disqualified for life.

The written ruling, a complete version yet to be released by the commission, says the respondent had “intentionally and deliberately” violated the provisions contained [in] sections 137, 167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, as he “has made false statement (sic) and incorrect declaration before the Commission in the statement of assets and liabilities filed by him for the year 2020-21”.

Hence, he attracts disqualification under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with sections 137 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, it added.

The ECP ruling follows up by saying based on the abovementioned findings, facts available on record and keeping in view the argument of learned counsel for parties herein, “we are of the considered opinion that the respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with Section 137,167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, consequently he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has become vacant accordingly”.

The ruling said as the respondent “has made false statements and incorrect declaration”, therefore he has also committed the “offence of corrupt practices” defined under sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017.

“The office is directed to initiate legal proceedings and to take follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act, 2017,” the verdict added.

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”.

After the ECP’s verdict, Imran could also cease to be the PTI chairman as per an earlier judgment by the apex court.

Meanwhile, the PTI leadership has announced that it will challenge the decision in court.

Earlier today, party leaders had directed workers to protest should the Toshakhana case decision come against Imran Khan.

Senior party leader and in-charge of the party’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wing Pervez Khattak had shared an audio message with workers, stating that “if the decision is in favour of Imran Khan, then fine; otherwise if it is against [him] then there will be a strong protest at the district level”.

The verdict against the PTI chief comes as a big blow to the party which a few days ago won big in by-polls across the country, following up on its resounding victory in the July by-elections in Punjab — both seen as indicators of public support for the ousted former premier.


Reflecting on the constitutional role of the ECP during a press conference today, senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that “a minus one formula will not be acceptable”.

“The ECP is a constitutional institution,” said Qureshi noting that “free, fair, and credible elections” was the responsibility of the watchdog.

“In no way will a minus one formula be considered acceptable,” he added.

During the press conference, Qureshi also noted the successes of PTI in by-elections and cited it as evidence that attempts to disqualify Imran would be against the “will of the people”.


Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Friday received a briefing from the administration on the security of the ECP ahead of pronouncing the verdict in the Toshakhana reference against Imran Khan.

The election commission had reserved its verdict in the Toshakhana reference against former premier Imran Khan and scheduled it announcement for 2:00pm on Friday (today). On Thursday evening, the commission issued notices to the parties including the former premier in the case.

As per details, CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja along with the four provincial members of the electoral body s reached the Election Commission of Pakistan headquarters.

Meanwhile, the security of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was beefed up ahead of the announcement of its verdict in the Toshakhana reference.

As per details, Punjab Rangers, FC and a heavy contingent of police have been deployed to ensure the security of the ECP in case of any situation after the verdict.

The troops have been provided with shells of tear gas, while the entry of irrelevant people into the Election Commission of Pakistan has been banned.


In view of the fear of the arrival of PTI workers or a possible disturbance, elaborated security arrangements were made in the entire area, especially around the ECP building and the Red Zone.

Islamabad and Rawalpindi police were put on high alert after the decision with heavy deployment placed at the Red Zone and Faizabad Interchange.

Furthermore, in addition to the police, FC and Rangers personnel were also deployed for security near government buildings.

Tear gas shells and other necessary equipment were also delivered to the personnel earlier.

Before the announcement of the verdict, the Islamabad administration had deployed more than 1,500 personnel including one SSP, five SPs and six DSPs on the premises of ECP building.

According to police officials, PTI workers will not be allowed to enter the ECP building and entry will be restricted to relevant persons only while entry into the Red Zone has also been restricted.

Besides this, DC Islamabad also visited the ECP and reviewed the security arrangements.

The electoral watchdog had sought “fool-proof security” ahead of the verdict. The election supervisor had also issued notices to all the parties to be present at its secretariat in Islamabad either personally or through their lawyers.


The ECP had reserved the verdict in the case on September 19.

Toshakhana – a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division – stores precious gifts given to the head of states, MPs, bureaucrats and officials by heads of other governments, states and foreign dignitaries.

According to Toshakhana rules, gifts and other such material received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.

The reference had been moved by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) against the PTI chief on August 4 for not “sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

Despite the fact that Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) make this act mandatory, the PTI while in government, had been reluctant to disclose details of the gifts, the then prime minister received since he assumed PM office in 2018.

It claimed that it would jeopardise international relations.

The reference sought disqualification of Imran from public office under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.


Violence erupted outside the Election of Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Headquarters as heavy police contingents and workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) confronted each other shortly after the election commission disqualified former prime minister Imran Khan in Toshakhana reference.

According to Islamabad police, the situation turned tense after KP police cop opened fire on capital police deployed outside ECP office.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) MNA Saleh Muhammad Khan and his guard were arrested in after the guard reportedly fired a shot outside the ECP office.

As soon as the verdict was announced, PTI supporters and party workers began protesting the decision and workers present outside the ECP office shouted slogans in support of Imran Khan.

The Islamabad police reportedly detained firearms from a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) policeman who was later reported to be the guard of PTI MNA Saleh. As the weapon was being recovered a shot was fired.

The capital police claimed the shot was fired by the KP policeman and arrested him. The police later also arrested MNA Saleh. Reports of the police physically assaulting the arrested PTI workers have also surfaced.

In Lahore, PTI’s women MNAs and MPA staged a sit-in on Jail Road, causing traffic jams in the area. The workers also chanted slogans outside the Punjab Election Commission office to express their anger against Imran Khan’s disqualification.

PTI workers in Daska, Chiniot, Okara, Gujrat, Rawalpindi and other parts of Punjab are protesting against the verdict of ECP.


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers on Friday blocked Islamabad Expressway and other avenues and roads of the Federal Capital as a protest of disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan by the ECP in the Toshakhana reference.

The workers also set tyres ablaze at different points. The PTI supporters converged on the Faizabad Interchange where the police resorted to tear gas shelling to prevent them from marching towards Islamabad.

Till filing of this report, there was traffic mess in the city, with police contingents present at important locations to thwart any untoward incident.


The Islamabad Police have issued a high alert for the federal capital, fearing possible law and order situation in the city following the Election Commission of Pakistan’s verdict in the Toshakhana reference. In unanimous decision, the ECP disqualified PTI chief Imran Khan from holding public office in Toshakhana reference.

The federal police have asked all the Station House Officers (SHOs) to immediately inform if they receive information about party workers gathering in their areas. “Peaceful protest is a right of every citizen but no one will be allowed to damage properties in the name of protest,” the Islamabad Police chief said.

On the other hand, the PTI workers have blocked the road at Faizabad, the juncture of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. They are protesting against the disqualification of their party chief Imran Khan. The road leading from Islamabad to Rawalpindi has been blocked at Faizabad.


Meanwhile, K-P Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra in a press conference denounced the ECP verdict and said that the party will challenge the decision in court.

“The ECP has no right to disqualify Imran Khan,” said Jhagra, adding that “we will go to court against this verdict and the court will reinstate Imran Khan with utmost dignity”.

He then went on to appeal to all workers in Peshawar to protest, stating that he would “personally lead the protest against the decision in Hayatabad Phase 3 Chowk”.

The PTI also announced its decision to close Peshawar Motorway (M-1) in protest which was later opened for traffic under the directives of senior leadership, while others protested on Cinema Road and blocked the road leading to Lady Reading Hospital.

Special Assistant for Information Barrister Saif on the occasion deemed the verdict a case of “doctrine of necessity in action”.

“The verdict is indicative of the results of the recent by-elections,” said Barrister Saif. “The imported government has realized that it is impossible to defeat Imran Khan so instead of contesting the election field, they have disqualified Imran Khan,” he added.

“The entire country has come out to the streets to protest the decision,” he said, “no sane person accepts the verdict.”

Besides Islamabad and Peshawar, PTI supporters also gathered in Lahore to protest the ECP verdict.

Senior party leader and in-charge of the party’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wing Pervez Khattak had shared an audio message with workers, stating that “if the decision is in favour of Imran Khan, then fine; otherwise if it is against [him] then there will be a strong protest at the district level”.

Reflecting on the constitutional role of the ECP during a press conference today, senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that “a minus one formula will not be acceptable”.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) nationwide protests are in progress at various locations in different cities against ECP decision to disqualify PTI chairman.

In Islamabad & Rawalpindi, the PTI protest continued at Chungi N0 26, Peshawar Road, Iqbal Town, Islamabad Expressway, Lehtrar Road, Athaal Chowk, Bhara Kahu, Express Chowk & Nadra Chowk, Serena Chowk, Ayub Chowk, Margalla Road and IJP road towards Faizabad.

In Lahore the PTI protest continued at Aziz Bhatti Town, Wahga Town, Ring Road, Allama Iqbal Town, Thokar Niaz Baig, Ravi Town, Shalimar Town, Shahdra, Samanabad Town, Data Ganj Bakhsh Town, Nishter Town, Gulberg Town Ferozpur Road, Walton Town, Cantt Town, Bhatta Chowk, Babu Sabu Chowk, Harbanspura-Ring Road, Jail Road towards Sherpao Bridge, Chugi Amar Sidhu, Kalma Chowk, GPO Chowk and Samnabad Turn.

In Peshawar, 1-Phase 3 chowk, Hayatabad, Stadium Chowk, Saddar, Kohati Chowk, Nishterabad Chowk, Charsadda Road near Ring Road, Kabotar Chowk, Pir Zakori Bridge, Bhana Mari Chongi Road and Motorway (M-1) Toll Plaza.

In Karachi the PTI protest continued at Hino Chowrangi, Insaaf House, Banglow no. G 16, 17 Imam Ahmed Road, Block-6 Block 6 PECHS, Akhtar Colony, Jam Sadiq Bridge, Korangi.


Meanwhile, a pre-recorded message from the PTI chief surfaced on social media wherein he urged people to “come out” for their rights.

“By the time my message reaches you, I might have been put behind the bars in an unfair case,” he said.

The ex-PM said fundamental rights and democracy had been “buried” in Pakistan.

“It is possible that I might not be able to address you again. I’ve been in the public for 50 years, I have neither flouted the law of Pakistan nor have I violated the Constitution.”

Imran said he always endeavoured to undertake his struggle in a peaceful manner. Whatever is being done today is aimed at barring me from leading the “Haqeeqi Azadi movement”, he added.

He said everyone had to come out for what he described as true freedom. “No nation gets served independence on a plate. Freedom always demands struggle. “This is the time that all of you must come out for real independence,” he added.


Following ECP verdict the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab convened Emergency sessions of the respective assemblies on Saturday (today) at 3pm and 2pm respectively.

Earlier, the session of the KP assembly was scheduled for October 24. The emergency sessions have been summoned after the ECP disqualified the PTI Chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference on Friday.


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