The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to withhold Khawaja Asif and Rana Sanaullah victory notifications, Express News reported.
Justice Mamoonul Rasheed gave the directives after hearing petitions by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Usman Dar and Nisar Ahmed Nisar against the two Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) heavyweights. Asif emerged victorious in Sialkot NA-73 while Sanaullah won from Faisalabad NA-106.
Dar’s advocates Anees Hashmi and Tajammul Gondal maintained he had secured second position from NA-73. “I lost to Asif by only 1,406 votes. Over 7,000 votes were rejected and the RO did not provide form 45 to polling agents.”
The petitioner said that since the RO had rejected an earlier recount plea, the court should order votes to be recounted. The petitioner also requested the court to stay the notification of Asif’s victory.
The LHC also barred the ECP from issuing notification of Sanaullah’s victory from Faisalabad NA-106 till a verdict on his disqualification was delivered. Nisar filed two separate petitions against Sanaullah. One requested his disqualification while the other requested a recount. The federal government, the ECP and Rana Sanaullah have been named respondents in the petition.
The petitioner said Sanaullah had delivered a controversial statement on the Ahmadis and likened welcoming former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to ‘performing Hajj’. In accordance with Article 62-D of the Constitution, the petitioner said, Sanaullah was not eligible for Parliament membership. The petitioner also claimed Sanaullah had emerged victorious after rigging elections and demanded a vote recount.