ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] on Thursday observed that Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [PTI] Imran Khan was still Member National Assembly [MNA] in record of the ECP.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who has already submitted his resignation in the National Assembly Secretariat, had submitted his nomination papers to contest by-elections on nine seats. National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has not yet accepted resignation of PTI chief Imran Khan and rest of 125 PTI MNAs. In Thursday’s hearing Toshakhana reference against former premier Imran Khan, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja observed that the PTI chairman was still an MNA as per document of ECP.

This reference was filed by a ruling party MNA Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha in which he sought the PTI chief’s disqualification for not disclosing gifts received from Toshakhana.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), during the proceedings, remarked that the ECP had not received any notification of resignation from National Assembly. “Show [any proof] if former deputy speaker [Qasim Suri] sent any resignations,” he stated. In his arguments, Barrister Gohar Khan argued that PTI Chief Imran Khan was not a member of the assembly so a notice could not be issued to him.

PTI’s counsel said, “If an assembly member announces his resignation and does not go to the House, then the resignation is considered accepted”.  On it, The CEC asked him to speak of laws at the commission during the hearing. “Save other discussions for the TV shows”, he said, and adjourned the reference’s hearing till August 22. The petition had sought to disqualify Imran Khan under sections 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(1)(f) – the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in 2017. It reads: “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) unless […] he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.”