Disqualification fears: Imran Khan takes 'U-turn' on contesting NA by-polls

Web Desk

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference at his Banigala residence. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference at his Banigala residence. — AFP/File
  • Khan decides not to contest by-elections for all 33 NA seats.
  • He has directed ex-MNAs to file their nomination papers. 
  • IHC fixes February 9 for hearing the Tyrian White case.  

In yet another U-Turn, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has decided against contesting by-elections — set to take place on March 16 — for all the 33 seats of the National Assembly amid his widely anticipated disqualification in the Tyrian White case, sources told Geo News Friday.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has fixed February 9 for hearing a petition seeking disqualification of Khan for concealing his alleged daughter, White, in his nomination papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in 2018.

Earlier, Khan had decided to set another record by contesting the by-polls on 33 NA seats scheduled to be held on March 16. The seats fell vacant after the ECP de-notified the lawmakers following NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf's acceptance of the lawmakers' resignations.

A day earlier, the PTI chairman withdrew his nomination papers for the by-poll in the NA-193 constituency.

According to sources privy to the matter, Khan has directed the party's ex-lawmakers to file their nomination papers for the by-polls. He asked the former MNAs to launch election campaigns in their respective constituencies.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PTI resigned en masse in April last year after the ouster of Khan as the prime minister, but only 11 resignations were accepted in July. 

Later, as the party tried to stage a comeback to the house, the speaker began accepting their resignations — and in a couple of days, he accepted 113 more, including the 33.

The development comes after the party had announced that Khan would be contesting for the 33 seats and the party leaders, who were elected as MNAs from those constituencies, would be fielded as covering candidates.