Shehbaz terms PHC verdict on PTI poll symbol ‘attack on ECP’

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Strongly reacting to the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) ruling that restored the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) iconic electoral bat symbol, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif Thursday called the court’s order an “attack” on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) authority.

The ECP last week stripped the Imran Khan-led party of its bat symbol and declared the PTI’s internal elections void. However, the PHC Tuesday suspended the electoral watchdog’s declaration.

“Keeping in view the urgency, that a political party has been denuded of its symbol, meaning hearby that aspirants from the general public who were willing to vote for the petitioners’ party were divested of their right to vote as per their choice,” Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel ruled.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, while addressing an event in Karachi said, “How can the Peshawar High Court give an order that affects Pakistan? There are candidates, who are in some way, related to the judge. I believe that the judge should have recused himself from the bench based on his relationship,” he said.

The scales of justice, the former prime minister said, were being titled for a “ladla” (blue-eyed boy). “The kind of decisions that are being issued are concerning for us. We expect justice from the judiciary.”

PML-N senior leader and former interior minister Rana Sanaullah termed the court’s ruling “pre-poll rigging and attack on the ECP”.

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