PESHAWAR

An election tribunal in Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday disqualified Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Agriculture Ikramullah Gandapur from his provincial assembly seat in a fake degree case.

The unseated Ikramullah Gandapur had won PK-67 Dera Ismail Khan provincial assembly seat in a by-election when it fell vacant after the assassination of former law minister Israrullah Gandapur in a suicide attack. Israrullah Gandapur was the younger brother of Ikramullah Gandapur.

Ikramullah Gandapur had bagged 28,073 votes, defeating independent candidate Sardar Fatehullah Khan Miankhel who got 14,986 votes in by-polls on December 16, 2013.

However, his rival candidate Fataullah Miankhel had challenged his election and the authenticity of his degree. The matter was forwarded by the returning officer to the election tribunal.

The election tribunal judge, Syed Yahya Zahid Gilani, after hearing arguments from both sides decided the case in favour of Fatehullah Miankhel and disqualified Gandapur for his fake degree, which he presented before the election tribunal. Ikramullah Gandapur is the second PTI lawmaker to have been disqualified in a fake degree case. In September 2013, Yousaf Ayub Khan from district Haripur had already been disqualified from his seat for holding a fake degree.

Gandapur was serving as the provincial agricultural minister in the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet. The election tribunal has sought re-elections in the constituency. Meanwhile, the unseated Ikramullah Gandapur has said that he would go to the Supreme Court against election tribunal’s decision.