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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) petition, seeking non-issuance of the notification of victory of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate for Senate elections from Islamabad Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has also rejected the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), in which it had prayed to the court to stop the issuance of notification of the victory of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani in Senate elections from Islamabad.

Earlier Wednesday, the ECP had reserved the verdict in the case after hearing the rival counsels. However, the election commission agreed to take up PTI’s application for declaring Gilani disqualified for the Senate seat on March 22, and issued notices to Gilani and his son Ali Haider Gilani in this regard.

Soon after issuing the verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan also released the notification of 48 successful senators including Yousaf Raza Gilani and PTI’s Faisal Vawda. A day ago, on March 9 (Tuesday), the ECP had rejected an application moved by ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for withholding the notification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani’s success in the recently-held Senate elections, saying it was incomplete.

PTI counsel Barrister Ali Zafar, Parliamentary Leader for Railways Farrukh Habib and MNA Kanwal Shauzab appeared before the commission and recorded their arguments. Ali Zafar claimed that rigging was done during the Senate polls through money and party tickets, and that its evidence came to light in the shape of a video just a day before the elections.

The Punjab member in ECP, Altaf Qureshi, said that the PTI lawyer had already provided the transcript of the leaked video. He asked about making those who were offered money a party in the case over which Ali Zafar said they cannot be made party, but the court can call them as witnesses.

The one who took the bribe and the other who gave it both were accused, Altaf Qureshi said. The ECP directed the PTI leaders to club all the pleas into one petition and submit it again.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday also rejected the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), in which it had prayed to the court to stop the issuance of notification of the victory of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani in Senate elections from Islamabad.

The petition had been filed by PTI MNA Ali Nawaz Awan. “Your case is pending in the Election Commission of Pakistan and you need to use the concerned forum first,” Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah told Ali Nawaz Awan.

The IHC chief justice added “You are a capable public representative and we don’t expect you to bring such petitions here. IHC is not the exact platform to bring such political matters unnecessarily,” Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked while dismissing the plea. Similarly, Chief Justice IHC Justice Athar Minallah also rejected the petition, seeking disqualification of Ali Haider Gilani, son of Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, as an MPA.

Gilani, PDM candidate for Senate elections from the federal capital and also a senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader had defeated PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the recently held elections for upper House of parliament.

But the video that surfaced in which his son Ali Haider Gilani was shown telling PTI members how to waste their votes in the Senate elections put a question mark over his victory, and provided an opportunity to the ruling party to initially approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with the request to stop notification of his victory.

And when the ECP, on Tuesday, threw out the petition, the party turned to Islamabad High Court, but here, too, its petition was not accepted. NNI