The election tribunal on Thursday disqualified Qaimoos Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) MPA from PK-86 Swat-VII, and ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold fresh elections in the constituency.
“The notification of the Election Commission of Pakistan … dated May 22, 2013, to the extent of his membership of the provincial assembly of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from PK-86 Swat-VII is set aside,” read the order of the election tribunal.
The order has declared “the seat of the constituency vacant” – the ECP is now to hold “fresh elections in PK-86, according to law”.
“Parties are directed to bear their own costs. The aggrieved party may file an appeal in the Supreme Court against this judgment within thirty days,” states the tribunal’s order.
The order was issued by Election Tribunal Judge Shah Jee Rehman after he was informed by the lawyers of the runner-up candidate, Awami National Party’s (ANP) Haider Ali Khan, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Ali Shah that Qaimoos submitted a fake degree in the 2008 general elections.
The court was told Qaimoos claimed to have received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, but the university does not hold any record of it.
The tribunal conducted its own investigation and concluded there was no proof of the erstwhile MPA’s bachelor’s degree.
After both sides presented their arguments, re-polling was ordered in the said constituency and the ECP order of Qaimoos’ membership of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was set aside.
According to the ECP’s website, there were 134,614 registered voters in PK-86 Swat-VII out of which 49,454 voted on May 11, 2013. From the cast ballots, 47,419 were deemed valid and 2,347 were rejected.
Qaimoos Khan of PML-N won with 10,687 votes, followed by JUI-F’s Ali Shah with 10,302 and ANP’s Dr Haider Ali Khan with 10,028.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2014.