PESHAWAR: The Election Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday gave Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM) leader and former member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly Khalifa Abdul Qayyum the go-ahead to contest elections from NA-24 and PK-64 DI Khan.
Earlier, Qayyum’s nomination papers for both constituencies had been rejected by returning officers (ROs) for his conviction in a fake degree case. He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs5,000 by DI Khan additional sessions and district judge.
Although he was elected as an independent candidate from the PK-64 DI Khan-1 constituency in the 2008 polls, Qayyum submitted his nomination papers for the upcoming elections with a MDM ticket in hand. The former MPA, a member of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), supported the Awami National Party (ANP) in the provincial assembly and later joined the MDM, a political alliance between six religious parties.
The Appellate Elections Tribunal was comprised of Justice Mian Fasih-ul-Mulk and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel. Wednesday was the last day of hearing appeals against decisions made by ROs. Throughout the course of the day, the tribunal heard a total of 29 appeals of which 12 were rejected, five were withdrawn and 12 were accepted.
Syed Fakhar Jehan, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket holder for PK-78, Buner had his appeal against the rejection of his papers denied as he had not fulfilled the legal requirement of submitting his papers personally. Despite Jehan’s protests, saying he was offering Umrah in Saudi Arabia, he was disqualified by the tribunal.
In a dual nationality case, the tribunal accepted Imran Azam’s appeal to contest from NA-6, Nowshera after the candidate proved he had relinquished dual nationality.
Other applications that were rejected included Misal Kham’s appeal against an RO’s decision to disallow him from contesting in PK-41, PK-44, Abbottabad; Ghulam Sarwar’s appeal against failing to file tax returns; Abdur Rasheed Khan’s appeal against the RO for NA-15; and Nawazish Ali’s appeal against being disqualified in NA-9, Mardan.
Additionally, appeals against candidates’ nominations were also rejected. These included Ghufranullah Shah’s appeal against Ikramullah from PK-23, Muhammad Niaz’s appeal against Malik Naqibullah from PK-73, Abdul Razzaq’s appeal against Abidur Rehman from NA-47 that alleged Rehman has not disclosed his assets, and Saeed Alam’s appeal against Hafiz Hashmat from PK-7 also claiming the candidate had not given adequate information on his belongings.
Those appeals that were upheld included Syed Yasir Ali from PK-25, Yasir Fareed from PK-1 who was required to clear his telephone bills, Noor-ul-Hassan from PK-36, Haji Hasim Khan from NA-37, Riaz Ahmad from NA-19, Haji Hasim Khan from NA-37, Pazeer Gul from PK-40, Riaz Ahmad from NA-19, and Makhdoom Mujtab-ul-Hassan Shah from PK-68. Appeals were also upheld against the nomination of some candidates. These included Yusuf George’s appeal against Sona Khan Baloch’s nomination for a minority seat.
Finally, the Agriculture Development Bank withdrew four of its appeals against ROs of Swat-2, Buner-28, PK-78 and NA-35. Shams-ur-Rehman from PK-16 also withdrew his appeal against Pervez Ahmad.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2013.