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Imran Khan to contest general elections from at least three constituencies, says his party

Islamabad: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan will contest the upcoming general elections from at least three constituencies, his party announced on Wednesday.

On August 5, the 71-year-old former cricketer-turned politician was convicted by a trial court in Islamabad in the Toshakahana corruption case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The verdict meant he was disqualified from contesting elections for five years. However, days later the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended his three-year sentence but he still remains in jail in other cases.

“Imran Khan sahib wants to inform that he will be contesting elections from at least three constituencies of Pakistan,” Barrister Ali Zafar told the media outside Adiala Jail.

He said the IHC was set to release its verdict on Khan’s petition challenging conviction in the Toshakhana case, Dawn newspaper reported.

“We hope that the judgment will soon be announced because the (election) schedule has been released,” he said.

Zafar said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party workers had been given directions to file their nomination papers. “As long as the PTI candidates are concerned, our workers in jail, who have rendered sacrifices for the party in this difficult time, would be 100 per cent allotted tickets on a priority basis,” he said.

“The rest of the candidates have also been finalised and their names will be announced soon,” Zafar added.

He added that stopping party workers from filing nomination papers was an “undemocratic exercise” and would jeopardise free and fair elections.

Meanwhile, the party Chairman Gohar Khan said that the PTI wanted elections to be held on February 8 at any cost.

“Today, we were very upset at what Shah (Mehmood Qureshi) sahib told us,” he noted, claiming that the PTI Vice Chairman’s nomination papers had been “snatched” from Qureshi’s secretary.

“Snatching nomination papers from people on the street would make these elections a shame,” he said.

Gohar added that Khan would be provided with his nomination papers tomorrow, vowing that “Khan sahib will contest these polls, God willing”.

Gohar said he too would participate in the upcoming polls from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner.

(Published 20 December 2023, 12:14 IST)

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