Pakistan: ECP issues arrest warrants of (former-PM) Imran


Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan, senior leaders of his party Asad Umer and Fawad Chaudhry. A four-member bench headed by Nisar Durrani announced the reserved judgment in contempt of ECP case. The bench rejected the pleas for exemption from appearance in contempt of the Election Commission case. The ECP has directed PTI leaders to secure bail against surety bonds of worth Rs50,000 each before January 17. Last year, the top electoral body initiated contempt proceedings against the PTI leaders for allegedly using foul language against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and ECP. It had served several notices on them, asking them to appear in person and explain their point of view.

However, the PTI leaders did not appear before the ECP and later challenged its powers to initiate contempt proceedings under Section 10 of the Election Act 2017 in different high courts.

On Tuesday last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to continue its proceedings against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and his party leaders Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry in a contempt case filed against them over controversial remarks against the electoral body.

Senior leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar on Tuesday expressed their dismay with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as they called it out for its “bias”. In a tweet, Fawad said that “the ECP’s decision to issue a bailable warrant is an insult to the high court’s decision”. “The case had been fixed for January 17, which was moved up to today against the rules and the case was decided,” he claimed.

Fawad went on to say that it was “yet another biased decision” by the ECP members and asserted that the PTI leaders would “pursue a contempt of court case against this decision in the high court”.

Meanwhile, Asad Umar took the opportunity to remind the electoral watchdog to focus on its primary responsibilities instead. “They are engaged in these tasks instead of conducting elections,” he said, adding that “they are themselves in contempt of court for not having conducted Islamabad [local body] elections.”__Daily Times