Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has decided to voluntarily appear before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on October 26, the party’s central media wing said in a statement on Monday.
The announcement came after senior PTI leaders met at Imran’s Bani Gala residence in Islamabad to discuss party strategy regarding the ongoing contempt of court case in the ECP.
The party also decided to challenge the arrest warrants issued earlier by the ECP for the PTI chief in the Islamabad High Court. According to the statement, the party maintains that the body does not have the authority to issue arrest warrants.
Last week, the ECP had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the PTI chief for “repeatedly failing to appear for the hearing and for failing to send a written apology to the ECP for his absence in court”.
Earlier on September 14, the ECP had issued bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan following his failure to show up for the contempt of court proceeding, which were later suspended by the IHC on the PTI’s petition.
In August, the ECP had issued a second show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to reply to the earlier notice regarding the contempt of court proceedings against him.
Imran Khan had initially challenged the maintainability of the contempt petition and raised objections over ECP’s jurisdiction to initiate contempt proceedings against him; the commission, however, declared on August 10 that it had the legal right to hear the contempt case.
The media statement issued today also reiterated party’s earlier mantra that the ECP had failed to perform its basic function, that is to ensure free and fair elections.
It said that the ECP had not learned anything from the findings of the judicial commission formed in 2015 to investigate PTI’s allegations that the PML-N had rigged the 2013 general elections.
The statement further claimed that the Chief Election Commissioner had failed to act against the PML-N’s illegal activities in NA-120 and 122 by-polls.
It added that the ECP should consider the damage it is causing the party due to its ‘hyper activity in some cases and inability to act in others’.