ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Tuesday bailable arrest warrants for PTI Chairperson Imran Khan and party leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar in cases related to the contempt of the electoral body.
The ECP had last year issued notices to the PTI chief and other party leaders for allegedly using intemperate language against Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja and the electoral watchdog in interviews, public gatherings, and press conferences.
Party leaders have repeatedly bashed the commission and Raja over what they claim is their partisanship and frequently pillory the electoral body as a “subsidiary of the PML-N”.
At the previous hearing, the ECP had given the PTI leaders a last chance to appear before the commission, warning that their absence before the commission at the next hearing on January 17 would result in the issuance of arrest warrants.
During today’s hearing, a four-member ECP bench headed by chief election commissioner rejected the pleas of PTI leaders seeking an exemption from appearing before the commission and issued arrest warrants for them against surety bonds worth Rs50,000 each. The bench, subsequently, adjourned the hearing till January 17.
Reacting to the development, PTI Leader Fawad Chaudhry said he would file contempt of court proceedings against the electoral watchdog.
“The case was supposed to be heard on January 17 but it was fixed today in violation of the rules. This is another biased verdict issued by the ECP members,” he added.
Meanwhile, Asad Umar tweeted that the ECP, instead of fulfilling its responsibilities, had indulged in such actions. “They themselves are guilty of contempt of court by not holding Islamabad elections,” he said.