LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) accepted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Yasmin Rashid’s plea to amend a petition she had filed against the casting of unverified votes in the NA-120 by-polls. The election saw former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom take victory on the seat vacated after her husband’s disqualification.
Rashid had previously filed a petition against unregistered votes that were cast in favour of Kulsoom Nawaz. The petition challenged 29,000 votes and claimed that they were unverified as there was no record of the voters in the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). She appealed to the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to cancel the votes and set aside the results of the by-poll.
Nawaz’s counsel strongly opposed the petition, stating that it be dismissed as non-maintainable. However, Rashid’s counsel appealed to the court to accept their plea to amend the petition. Justice Aminuddin Khan accepted the plea and designated April 6 for further proceedings.
Earlier Rashid, while speaking to media, said that ECP and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had been delaying the matter intentionally in order to prolong proceedings.
“ECP took no action while the state machinery was being used in the by-elections of NA-120 to ensure victory of the ruling party’s candidate. ECP has become a sub-wing of PML-N, she expressed. Several of PTI’s petitions were not entertained by the commission.
“We (PTI) will not allow anyone to steal the mandate,” she maintained, adding that free and fair elections are important for the country’s development and prosperity.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2018.