Friday Feb 19, 2021
LAHORE: PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid has challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan's decision to reject his nomination papers for the upcoming Senate election.
Rashid has filed an appeal at the Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court and a hearing related to the matter will take place on Saturday, February 20, Geo News reported.
In his appeal, Rashid stated that the returning officer of the ECP "unlawfully rejected the nomination papers," adding that he was ready to deposit Rs9.5 million to the administration of the Punjab House as required by the ECP for the purpose but he did not receive the related bank details.
A day ago, Rashid's nomination papers had been rejected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on allegations that he had defaulted on payments that were to be made to the Punjab House.
The Punjab government had released a list of people in 2018 who had not cleared their bills for staying and taking meals at the Punjab House. Rashid was among those who were named in the list.
PTI MPA Zainab Omar had filed an objection against Rashid through her lawyer Rana Mudassar to the returning officer/provincial election commissioner in Lahore.
"Imran Khan can't tolerate criticism," Rashid had said, reacting to the development as he spoke to media. "I criticise [the government] hence efforts are being made to keep me out of the parliament."
Rashid had accused the government of preparing a fake 'demand' against him. "To dispose of this fake demand, I am ready to make the payment," the senior PML-N leader had said.
"You can close the doors on me, but you can't stop my voice," he had said, addressing the government. "I will appeal against the decision to reject my nomination papers."
Rashid had alleged that fake cases against PML-N leaders were being made, accusing the government of keeping political opponents "away from the field".
"I did not keep silent then and I will not be silent now," he had said. "People such as me are like a thorn in their [government's] side," he added.
According to the list released by the Punjab government a couple of years ago, Rashid and several PML-N leaders, government officials and their relatives owed a total amount exceeding Rs60 million.
As per the list, Rashid owed a sum of Rs7.05 million of which Rs0.69 million was owed for his stay in 2011 from January to August and Rs6.4 million for his stay between June 2013 and May 2018. The list also mentioned the name of his daughter, Poonam Rashid, also a Senator, who owed Rs2.7 million.
The list contained the names of former attorney general Ashtar Ausaf who had to pay Rs0.6 million, Khurram Rashid Rs2.2 million and Malik Zulfiqar who was allegedly a defaulter of Rs0.287 million.
Moazzam Ali was to pay Rs2.9 million, Mujahid Sherdil Rs1.287 million, Mustafa Ramday Rs3.952 million and Nabeel Awan Rs2.597 million, according to the list.
Former minister Anushay Rehman and Zubair Gul were also said to be defaulters of payments amounting in the millions.