By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chitral’s petition filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking re-election in the whole constituency of PK-90, Upper Chitral, has created a mystery of sorts.
A few weeks back when an election tribunal in Peshawar ordered re-polling in seven polling stations of Upper Chitral and recommended to the Election Commission to suspend Ghulam Muhammad as the MPA, Rehmat Ghazi Khan, who was the PTI candidate for the PK-90 seat in the May 11 elections, approached the apex court seeking re-election in the whole constituency. He was of the view that the election tribunal had unearthed massive rigging during the recounting of rejected and postal ballots in the constituency and there should be re-election.
But ChitralToday reported on Jan 23 that the Supreme Court had rejected the application filed by the PTI leader. A couple of days later, however, PTI Chitral president Abdul Lateef Advocate while talking to ChitralToday claimed that the petition had been accepted and included in the cause list for the week starting Jan 27. He even gave the serial number of the case (57), adding it would be taken up on Thursday or Friday (Jan 30, 31). But when the cause list of the apex court was checked, the case was not there.
When contacted, Mian Abdul Rauf, the counsel for PTI petitioner Ghazi Khan, neither denied nor confirmed the acceptance of the petition, saying any comment on the matter would tantamount to the breach of his client’s privilege.
When he was asked he should give his view as the issue is of great public importance, he said: “It’s still pending and I can’t comment on it anymore. I can’t tell you whether the petition is rejected or accepted.”
The Supreme Court issued its cause list for the whole month of February on Jan 30 and strangely the petition was not included there too. It may be noted that election-related matters are usually taken up on priority basis by the courts.
Sources told ChitralToday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would announce the date anytime in February for the re-polling in the seven polling stations of PK-90 (Chitral-II). However, the PTI still awaits something from the blue about the fate of its petition.
The PTI local leadership is also shying away to come up with a clear-cut statement about the maintainability of their petition, which according to sources, was rejected in the first go by Supreme Court registrar office.
By Zulfiqar Ahmad