ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has condemned the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision not to extend contracts of post-election tribunal judges, especially Justice (retd) Kazim Malik and Justice (retd) Rana Zahid Mehmood Gondal.
Responding to media reports which claimed that the ECP is unlikely to give another extension to all the three post-election tribunals working in Punjab, Imran Khan said this act showed the polls supervisory body’s tilt towards the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“There should be no doubt now about the ECP’s bias after its decision not to extend contracts of Kazim Malik and Rana Zahid after verdicts against the PML-N,” Imran Khan commented on Friday using his Twitter account.
Heading a Lahore-based tribunal, Justice (retd) Kazim Malik on August 22 de-notified the PML-N leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq while Justice Rana Zahid, who heads a Multan-based tribunal, disqualified another PML-N lawmaker, Siddiq Baloch, on August 26.
Imran said Justice Kazim was acceptable to the ECP when he gave 30 verdicts in favour of the PML-N. “This bias of the ECP is condemnable,” he added.
A week earlier, Imran Khan had asked all the ECP’s provincial members to resign, a demand which was seconded by the leading opposition party, Pakistan Peoples Party.
Post-election tribunals, set up after May 11, 2015 general elections, were supposed to dispose of all election petitions within 120 days. While all the other tribunals were dissolved after they completed adjudication of cases sent to them, three tribunals are still working in Punjab.
According to media reports, the tenure of all these remaining tribunals will also expire on August 31. Third tribunal in Punjab, working for Faisalabad region, is headed by Justice (retd) Javed Rasheed Mehboobi.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2015.