The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan from politics in the highly-anticipated Toshakhana verdict.
The verdict, which had been reserved a month ago, was announced today (Friday) at 2 PM. The decision was taken unanimously by a five-member bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja.
According to the decision, Khan has been disqualified for five years. Additionally, criminal proceedings will be initiated against Imran Khan for misdeclaration.
Strict security arrangements were made at the ECP Secretariat, with only select few people being allowed in. Earlier footage showed PTI leaders attempting to climb over the gate in order to reach the secretariat.
The reference against the former prime minister had been filed by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in August of this year. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha submitted the reference to the commission contending that Imran had not declared gifts received from the Toshakhana in his assets declaration. He argued that the PTI chief should be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
The decision taken by the ECP today renders Imran Khan unfit to retain his parliamentary seat. After the verdict was announced, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in a press conference urged PTI supporters to come out of their houses to protest against the decision. Asad Umar said that they will challenge this decision in court.