ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct polls in NA-60 constituency of Rawalpindi, nullifying the electoral body’s earlier decision.
Following the directives by the top court on Wednesday, Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid withdrew his petition against the delay in elections in the constituency.
During the hearing, the Pindiite expressed that he had forgotten what the Election Commission did to him adding that he lauded Chief Justice Saqib Nisar’s efforts for holding the election at a time when no one thought they would be held on time.
“People say that I have sided with Sheikh Rasheed,” replied the top judge, to which Rasheed replied that the CJ has sided only with the people.
Talking to newsmen, the AML leader said that the nation wants change which can only be delivered by Imran Khan.
“Khan’s victory is the victory of the nation. Rashid Shafiq will contest election from our side in NA-60. One of my contenders was disqualified while the other withdrew in my support,” Rashid announced.
On July 22, the ECP postponed polling in the NA-60 constituency as the potential candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hanif Abbasi was disqualified by the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court of Rawalpindi in the Ephedrine case.
Sheikh Rasheed had challenged the polls deferral in Lahore High Court and subsequently Supreme Court, however, both his petitions were rejected, on the basis that it was practically impossible to hold elections in NA-60 on July 25.
According to the ECP, it would have taken a lot of time to print new ballot papers for the 700,000 voters residing in the constituency.
The chief justice, during the hearing of the case, had also advised Rashid to wait and contest a ‘fair’ election instead of winning on a walkover, “not for himself but for the sake of voters”.