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Supreme Court rules no law bars absconder from contesting election

The apex court gave ruling on Friday on the appeal of PTI’s Umar Aslam against rejection of papers

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Supreme Court rules no law bars absconder from contesting election

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has said that contesting elections is the fundamental right and no one can be prevented from taking part in elections for being an absconder. 

The apex court gave the ruling on Friday on the appeal of PTI leader Umar Aslam against rejection of his nomination papers.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising Justice Jamal Mandokhel and Justice Athar Minallah heard the appeal.

Justice Mansoor asked appellant’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar why Umar Aslam’s nomination papers were rejected. Is Umar Aslam an absconder?

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Barrister Zafar submitted that Aslam was on pre-arrest bail; one of his constitutional applications to contest the elections was rejected while the other was approved.

Justice Mansoor raised the question that which law prevents a fugitive/absconder from contesting elections?

The counsel for Election Commission said that a fugitive/absconder is guilty of violating the law, so he cannot contest the elections.

Justice Mansoor remarked that contesting elections is a fundamental right. It is a punishment to deprive a person of his fundamental right by preventing him from taking part in elections. 

How can one be prevented from participating in elections? Let the people of Pakistan elect their representatives, he observed.

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He questioned which clause of Articles 17, 62 and 63 deprive a fugitive of the fundamental right to vote?

Justice Mandokhel asked who will decide whether a person is an absconder; court or the Election Commission.

Justice Minallah questioned the Election Commission is accountable to the people of Pakistan or to the candidates? It is answerable to the people of Pakistan, he observed.

The counsel for Election Commission submitted that printing of ballot papers has started and it is not possible to change them.

Justice Mansoor observed that the Election Commission should have known that cases would be filed in courts.

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Later, the bench accepted the appeal and allowed Umar Aslam to contest elections.

TAHIR SADIQ

Meanwhile, the bench also allowed PTI leader Tahir Sadiq to contest election from National Assembly constituency NA-49 Attock.

Sadiq has filed an appeal against the Lahore High Court decision which rejected his nomination papers and the apex court overturned the decision. 

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Fazl urges cooperation among opposition parties amid governance concerns

Fazl urges cooperation among opposition parties amid governance concerns

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Fazl urges cooperation among opposition parties amid governance concerns

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while expressing concerns over the dismal state of governance and democratic institutions, stressed the importance of fostering political cooperation among opposition parties on Wednesday.

Fazl, during a meeting with a PTI delegation, highlighted the urgency of collective action among opposition parties to address the challenges of what he described as a decline in democracy, waning relevance of parliament and the diminishing significance of the constitution.

Speaking to media alongside PTI leaders Omar Ayub and Asad Qaiser after the meeting, Fazl emphasised the need for political cooperation among opposition parties, noting that there was no disagreement on that.

He underscored the necessity of dialogue in today’s environment to eliminate bitterness, stating, “If we cannot end differences, we can soften attitudes.”

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Expressing similar views, Omar Ayub, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, said they had a useful conversation with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who welcomed them wholeheartedly. He affirmed that these talks would continue in the future.

Ayub vowed to stand for the supremacy of the constitution, announcing that their meetings and conventions would be held all over Pakistan.

Ayub highlighted the link between democracy and investment, asserting that investment would only come when democracy flourishes.

He also condemned the recent police attack on the party secretariat.

Addressing the media, PTI leader Asad Qaiser said the country had assumed the form of a public limited company now.

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He said that during the meeting with the JUI-F chief, they also discussed the wheat crisis issue in Punjab.

Qaiser emphasised the need for opposition parties to unite for the supremacy of the constitution and law, observing that the prevailing law of the jungle in the country must end.

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Imran Khan requests personal appearance in NAB amendment case hearing

Imran Khan requests personal appearance in NAB amendment case hearing

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Imran Khan requests personal appearance in NAB amendment case hearing

Imran Khan, the incarcerated founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has filed a request with the Supreme Court seeking personal appearance in connection with the National Accountability (NAB) Ordinance 1999 amendment case, it is learned.

According to details, the former prime minister has addressed the letter to Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa requesting permission for personal appearance on the next hearing on May 30.

Khan put his signatures on the letter and gave it to the Adiala Jail administration for submission to the apex court.

The court had, during the previous hearing on May 17, issued orders for presenting the PTI founder through video link on the next hearing scheduled for May 30.

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The PTI founder did not get an opportunity to advance arguments during the proceedings on May 17.

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CM Maryam pays surprise visit to Holy Family Hospital

CM Maryam pays surprise visit to Holy Family Hospital

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CM Maryam pays surprise visit to Holy Family Hospital

Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has paid a surprise visit to the Holy Family Hospital here.

The chief minister visited various wards of the hospital, interacted with patients, inquired about the facilities and provision of medicines at the hospital.

Chief Minister Maryam expressed anger at low wages of labourers working at under-construction block of the hospital and directed the authorities concerned to raise their wages as per the law.

Later, she was briefed about the revamping project of the Hospital. She directed the hospital administration to complete construction of new block by June end. 

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