Unpaid rest house bill leads to Rashid's nomination papers rejection

Veteran politico owes Rs322,000 to govt after he stayed in rest house from Sep 4 to 9 in 2022, says RO

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. — X/@ShkhRasheed
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. — X/@ShkhRasheed

  • Politician didn't pay bill for govt-run rest house in Murree.
  • Sheikh Rashid owes govt Rs322,000 as payable bill amount.
  • Politician also failed to provide complete details of his assets.

RAWALPINDI: Sheikh Rashid, the chief of Awami Muslim League (AML), was barred from contesting elections from the NA-56 seat over unpaid rest house rent among other reasons, according to objections raised by returning officer to his nomination papers.  

The RO, who conducted scrutiny of Rashid's nomination papers, cited several reasons including the unpaid resthouse bill, and inconsistent asset details among others.  

RO Nazarat Ali shared a copy of the objections with the senior politician and his nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, whose papers were also rejected.

The objection copy handed over to the veteran politico mentioned that his papers were rejected due to an unpaid bill for a rest house of the Murree Forest Department, where he stayed from September 4 to September 9 2022, without paying the bill. Rashid owes the government Rs322,000 in unpaid resthouse bill.

According to the objections, the senior politician also failed to provide complete details of his assets, while the value of assets declared by him was not consistent with the investment he had made. He did not mention the income for the years 2021 to 2023 in the papers.

An objection was also raised about Rashid purchasing land in Mouza Sial but did not disclose it in the returns.

Meanwhile, the politician's nephew, according to the RO, did not submit his wife's tax returns and also failed to provide complete details of his assets.

It should be noted that the nomination papers of Sheikh Rashid from NA-56 and Rashid Shafiq from NA-57 were rejected by the ROs.

ECP on a rejection spree

Sheikh Rashid is among the several political bigwigs whose nomination papers, after culminating in the scrutiny stage, have been rejected by the ECP.

In a major setback for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the ECP rejected the nomination papers of its incarcerated founder Imran Khan — from NA-122 and NA-89 — along with party's Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s nomination papers from NA-150 and NA-151.

The party has since announced approaching the Supreme Court (SC) to challenge the rejection of nomination papers of top party leaders.

PTI leader and former Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid’s nomination papers from NA-130 were also rejected by the ECP, whereas Ejaz Chaudhry’s nomination papers failed to secure the ECP’s approval from NA-127.

The party’s nomination papers filed by PTI’s Mohammad Atif Khan (NA-22) and Naeem Haider Panjotha’s — Khan’s counsel— from NA-82, also failed to get approval from the top electoral body.

From NA-44, ECP rejected PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur’s documents — a decision the politician has announced to challenge in the high court tomorrow.

From PP-172, ECP rejected PTI’s Hammad Azhar’s nomination papers,