Returning officers (ROs) on Thursday issued notices to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother, former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, asking them to respond to applications seeking the rejection of their nomination forms by April 6 (tomorrow).
Similar notices were also issued by ROs to Jamaat-e-Islami’s Fareed Ahmed Piracha and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Asif Hashmi.
Two applications have been filed against Nawaz Sharif, who intends to run for the NA 120 seat. In the first application, petitioner Sohail Malik contended that the PML-N chief should be disqualified in light of his role in the Asghar Khan case. Nawaz, among other politicians, had been accused of receiving monetary favours from the agencies in order to rig the 1990 elections against the PPP.
In his petition, Malik noted hat the Supreme Court had referred the matter to the Federal Investigation Agency with the observation that “legal proceedings should be initiated against the politicians who allegedly received donations to spend on election campaign in general elections of 1990.” He argued that the SC’s directions were sufficient to bar Nawaz from contesting the May 11 polls.
Malik also challenged the PML-N chief’s sagacity, righteousness and honesty. He maintained that despite publicly denying any agreement with former president Pervez Musharraf to leave Pakistani politics in the aftermath of the 1999 coup, he still opted for self-exile for 10 years. The petitioner also alleged that certain unknown quarters had ‘stitched’ Nawaz’s lips following Musharraf’s return to the country.
The second application against Nawaz was filed by Afshan Ameer, who contended that the PML-N chief was illegally occupying property (No. S-58-R-49) which had been gifted to her and her sisters by their father, the previous owner of the property.
Meanwhile, petitioner Afzal Azeem Pahat sought the disqualification of Shahbaz Sharif on the grounds that the latter is ‘mentally unstable’. While Shahbaz’s counsel rubbished the allegation before the RO, Pahat insisted on a medical examination of the former Punjab CM.
The petitioner also contended that two corruption references against Shahbaz were already pending before Rawalpindi courts. He added that the SC’s verdict on Asghar Khan’s petition also named him among politicians accused of receiving money from the agencies.
Subsequently, the RO Ghulam Murtaza directed Shahbaz’s counsel to submit a written reply in this regard.
Complaints against Piracha, Hashmi
In his application against JI’s Fareed Ahmed Piracha, petitioner Waseem Ali Shah maintained he had donated land to the former for establishing an ulema academy at Mansoora. He alleged, however, that the JI leader had that land registered to his name and subsequently sold it. Shah contended that in light of this, Piracha could not be seen as ‘Sadiq’ or ‘Ameen’.
In his petition against PPP’s Asif Hashmi, petitioner Shaikh Ashfaq Ahmed stated that the former is the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board and hence a government employee. He contended that under the law, a government employee cannot contest elections until two years after leaving the job.
In both cases, ROs gave the respondents until April 6 to submit their arguments against the applications.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013.