LAHORE / LAHORE: Justice Shahid Karim of Lahore High Court (LHC) reserved decision over the maintainability of a petition filed by PPP candidate Faisal Mir for NA-133 challenging appointment of interim interior minister Azam Khan for removing Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari alias Zulfi Bukhari’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) and allowing him to perform Umra with PTI Chief Imran Khan.
Faisal Mir said Khan misused his authority by removing the name of Bukhari from the ECL as no permission was sought from the federal cabinet. He said no fair election could be expected in the presence of Khan who gave undue favour to Bukhari and allowed him to leave for Umra. He said he had a close relationship and friendship with Imran. He played a key role in permission to Bukhari to perform Umra with Imran despite the fact that his name was on the ECL. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had suggested placement of his name on the ECL.
He said the appointment of Khan was against the mandate of Section 230 of Election Act 2017 which stipulates in categorical terms that the caretaker government must be impartial to every individual and political party.
However, he said the appointment of Khan as interior minister rendered the aforementioned provisions of law redundant as per the dicta of the superior court redundancy cannot be attributed to the legislature. He added that being interior minister, Khan could influence the upcoming general election. He requested the court to declare his appointment as an interior minister as illegal for being a close friend and member of Imran.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2018.