Tossed out: Ex-PM Ashraf not ‘Ameen’ enough to contest elections

Published: April 16, 2013

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was hoping to contest from NA-51 (Gujjar Khan)

Nawabzada Tariq Magsi was hoping to contest from PB-32 (Jhal Magsi) Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was hoping to contest from NA-51 (Gujjar Khan)
KARACHI / QUETTA / RAWALPINDI / LAHORE: 

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf may be a former prime minister, but apparently he is not ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ (sagacious and righteous) enough to run for elections. At least, that’s what a two-member election tribunal of Rawalpindi division decided on Monday. 

Ashraf’s papers were rejected on three counts: for awarding a contract to the National Logistics Cell (NLC) without advertising it as per the rules; for his involvement in the Rental Power Projects case, and for a contempt of court case he incurred by writing a letter to the Supreme Court.

The first case, in which a contract was awarded to the NLC for constructing roads in Ashraf’s constituency, had earlier been dubbed a case of ‘naked corruption’ by the Islamabad High Court.

Sheikh Zameer Hussain, representing the returning officer, told the tribunal that Ashraf has been declared as being not ‘sagacious and righteous’ by the IHC and has also been issued a notice by the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case.

Farooq H Naek, Ashraf’s counsel in this case, said terming Ashraf not ‘sagacious and righteous’ were mere observations of the IHC judge.

When the tribunal asked Naek whether it was competent to overrule the high court’s decision, Naek replied that the IHC did not hear him out before issuing the judgment.

“No one can be declared as being not ‘sagacious and righteous’ without hearing the witnesses,” Naek said. “The matters are pending in courts. He can be disqualified if proven guilty,” he said, adding that it would be injustice if Ashraf is disqualified and the court later acquits him.

Talking to reporters, Naek said they would appeal in the Supreme Court if Ashraf was disqualified.

Meanwhile, there was also bad news for the former opposition leader in the Balochistan Assembly, Nawabzada Tariq Magsi. The Balochistan election tribunal rejected his papers, while also dismissing appeals against PTI Balochistan President Qasim Suri and PML-Q Balochistan President Jaffar Khan Mandokhel.

But while one former prime minister will seemingly sit this election out, another is all set to go campaigning. PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif got a clean chit from the election tribunal on Monday, along with his brother Shahbaz Sharif, former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Imtiaz Safdar Warraich.

The tribunal dismissed appeals filed against the candidature of the Sharifs and Kaira while accepting Warraich’s appeal against the rejection of his nomination papers.

Nawaz will now contest elections from NA-119 and NA-120, while Shahbaz Sharif will contest from NA-129 and PP-161. Warraich will take a shot at NA-98 (Gujranwala), while Kaira will contest a National Assembly seat from Gujrat.

Four appeals were filed against the acceptance of Nawaz’s  nomination papers from NA-120, seeking his disqualification on the grounds of alleged discrepancies in his assets and income statements. The appellants also argued that it had been established that both Sharifs had received money from the agencies to manoeuvre the 1990 general elections.

Nawaz was also accused of being involved in money laundering, and one of the appellants accused him of illegally occupying her ancestral property in the Shah Alam area. However, the tribunal dismissed all appeals by declaring them non maintainable.

But while Nawaz can now concentrate on PML-N’s election campaign, the man who once removed him from power is facing hurdles.

An election tribunal on Monday dismissed the former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s petition against the rejection of his nomination papers for NA-250 (Karachi).

Musharraf’s papers had been rejected on allegations of suspending the Constitution and removing and detaining judges in 2007, among other charges.

Headed by Justice Faisal Arab, the two-member tribunal dismissed the plea through a short order, saying the reasons would follow in the detailed judgment to be announced later.

Musharraf’s lawyer, Khawaja Naveed Ahmed, said the RO had rejected his papers despite the fact that no case is pending against him with regard to subversion of the Constitution and holding the Constitution in abeyance in November 2007.

“His nomination papers were also accepted from NA-32 Chitral by the returning officer,” he said.

He also argued that several convicted persons, including former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Mohajir Qaumi Movement’s Chairman Afaq Ahmed have been allowed to contest the election. The tribunal, however, was not convinced by his arguments.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2013.

Reader Comments (10)

  • ASIM
    Apr 16, 2013 - 4:49AM

    What about president ? for which letter was written to swiss courts on the direction of apex courts Pakistan. Is he SADIQ and AMEEN?

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  • Ejaz Omer
    Apr 16, 2013 - 5:03AM

    Deal-or-no deal Sharifs, Constitution abrogating Musharraf and fake degree Dasti are Ameen! These elections are fast turning into selections.

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  • Hafeez
    Apr 16, 2013 - 5:53AM

    I really do not understand all this logic. How come Parvez Ashraf can be disqualified for undertaking a development project in his constituency and Shahbaz Sharif can get away with the Bus project in Lahore. Seems like judiciary is bent upon favoring PML-N.

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  • Imran
    Apr 16, 2013 - 8:56AM

    Court cant see corruption when laptops were divided like “ravdrees” by Shabaz Sharif for political gain…Laptop were given to those students who could afford to buy them secondly their is hardly any value added to their education enhancing capabilities by acquiring laptop.. That money should be spend on the welfare and training of teacher so our education system can be flourish….

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  • JA
    Apr 16, 2013 - 9:00AM

    Good job IHC

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  • Umer
    Apr 16, 2013 - 9:01AM

    @Asim:

    Dude, the president Yousef Raza Gillani has also been disqualified on the grounds of the same letter that you are talking about. It’s good to read the news before shouting your ignorance out.

    Its a great step and instead of saying that “well, why only this guy and not others”, you should instead be thankful that even a handful of corrupt people are being apprehended. You can’t just wave a magical wand and get all the corruption vanished in a single swing. Give democracy some time. Things change gradually and it takes decades. Get yourself education about the democratic process it would be good to read about the democratic process in countries that now rule the world.

    This is a very refreshing news. Along with Pervez Ashfar, several other people have also been rightfully disqualified because of corruption. If we give democracy time and stop supporting dictatorships, eventually justice and welfare of the country would triumph.

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  • Umer
    Apr 16, 2013 - 9:03AM

    @Everyone:

    Surely, if someone expects that the mess of the country can be cleared and everything made hunky-dory within days, he/she is merely showing his/her ignorance. Even a single step like this needs to be appreciated. Stop being such dumb people with no understanding of and appreciation for the democratic process.

    Great step. Long live a democratic Pakistan.

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  • Amitabh
    Apr 16, 2013 - 10:44AM

    Imran khan is the need of the hour. A real fighter who can actually save this country

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  • Umer
    Apr 16, 2013 - 11:07AM

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani *. As for President, you can’t prosecute the president. You can do that after he leaves the office.

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  • Salman
    Apr 16, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Sorry the guy doesn’t look honest and educated from any angle. Good decision IHC

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