Khosa questions 'interference' of top judiciary, ECP

PTI lawyer asks if ECP has become a 'headmaster' deciding leadership positions within political parties

Our Correspondent January 16, 2024
Sardar Latif Khosa. PHOTO: FILE


In a scathing critique aimed at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the top judiciary, PTI leader Latif Khosa on Monday called into question the interference of the institutions to decide hierarchy within political entities.

In response to the assertion that flaws were found in PTI's intra-party elections, Khosa, who recently joined the PTI, questioned, "Who are they to decide?"

He pointed out that other major political parties like the PPP and PML-N have also conducted intra-party elections in a similar manner. Khosa noted that even Bilawal Bhutto was chosen as the PPP chairman through similar intra-party elections.

During an interaction with journalists, Khosa contested the legitimacy of external bodies in determining the flaws in PTI's intra-party elections, arguing that other major parties like the PPP and PML-N follow similar patterns. He highlighted the selection of Bilawal Bhutto as PPP chairman through comparable elections within the party.

Responding to questions about potential relief from Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, he lamented that the PTI has been unjustly deprived of 227 reserved seats in the assemblies.

He further questioned the ECP's role, asking if it should act as a headmaster deciding the leadership positions within political parties.

“Is the ECP a headmaster? Will the ECP monitor [decide] who will be the president, general secretary or office-bearer of political parties?”

Read also: PTI committed to active participation in polls despite symbol setback: Gohar

Last week, the PTI faced a severe setback when the Supreme Court annulled the Peshawar High Court's January 10 order, stripping the party of its 'iconic' electoral symbol, the bat, just days before the February 8 general elections.

The three-member bench, led by CJP Isa, upheld the ECP's plea, resulting in the unanimous verdict.

Earlier on Monday, the PTI withdrew its petition seeking contempt proceedings against the ECP, accusing it of failing to ensure a level playing field for the upcoming elections.

The party had filed the plea on December 26, 2023, but opted to withdraw it during the court hearing.

Khosa informed CJP Isa that the PTI would pursue the matter in the people's court rather than continuing the case in the judiciary. He said that the January 13 verdict, which deprived the PTI of its 'bat' symbol, compelled the party to abstain from contesting on more than 230 seats.

CJP Isa questioned Khosa about the continuation of the case, to which Khosa responded that he had been directed to withdraw the plea.

He criticised the apex court for “shattering the PTI's level-playing field”, contending that the forced independent candidacy of all PTI candidates would lead to confusion among voters.


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