Pakistan

Afridi given last chance to respond to disqualification reference

Ziaullah afridi

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday gave former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi a last chance to respond to a reference seeking his disqualification.  

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice retired Sardar Raza, who headed a five-member bench, adjourned the hearing till Oct 30 at the request of Afridi who sought time to file reply to the reference.

He told the commission that his lawyer could not appear before it for he was busy in the apex court.

To which, the CEC said this too is a court. Should it hand down a verdict without hearing your counsel, he asked.

At the last hearing, the CEC had told the legislator that PTI had filed a reference seeking his disqualification from the membership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the ground that he was elected on its ticket and later parted ways with the party, while joining PPP.

Earlier, on August 28, Afridi had announced joining the PPP after his meeting with PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.

On directives of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the party had suspended the basic party membership of Ziaullah Afridi, former KP Minister for Mines and Minerals over corruption charges.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) had ordered the arrest of Afridi on July 09, 2015 in a case pertaining to abuse of authority and allowing illegal mining, which caused billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer. He was later released on bail in October 2016 after having spent 15 months in jail.

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