The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Tuesday ruled that the provincial president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, is not eligible to contest the July 25 elections.
An appellate tribunal and returning officer (RO) had rejected Rind’s nomination papers for submitting a fake degree and being nominated in several first information reports (FIRs) in murder and kidnapping cases.
Announcing the verdict, a divisional bench of the BHC, comprising Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Nazeer Langove, upheld the RO and tribunal’s decisions that had rendered him disqualified.
Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa and others had argued on behalf on Sardar Rind.
A day earlier, a divisional bench of the BHC had upheld the disqualification of PPP’s provincial president, Ali Madad Jattak, who was vying for the PB-31 seat in Quetta.
Jattak had been disqualified by appellate tribunal of the BHC and RO for being convicted in a fake degree case.
Two ex-ministers declared ineligible
The same divisional bench also disqualified former provincial minister Mir Faiq Ali Jamali from participating in the poll.
The RO had rejected his nomination papers over submission of a fake degree. However, the appellate tribunal overturned the RO’s verdict, allowing Jamali to contest the elections.
The case had come to the BHC after Mohammad Omar Jamali, son of former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, challenged the tribunal head’s decision.
The Constitution bars convicts in certain cases from contesting elections unless a period of five years has lapsed since their release.
Deciding another poll-related appeal, the BHC disqualified ex-provincial minister Behram Khan Achakzai from the election race.
In doing so, the high court upheld the decisions of the RO and appellate tribunal, which had declared him ineligible over his involvement in a corruption case.
Security plan drawn up for elections
In a separate development, the Balochistan government has devised an expansive security plan to avert any untoward incident during the forthcoming elections in the province that has been plagued by violence for more than a decade.
In view of security threats, the provincial government has decided to provide security to every candidate of the national and provincial assemblies.
National Assembly candidates will be provided two security personnel each, while one official will be assigned the security of each Balochistan Assembly candidate across the province, a senior officer of the Balochistan home and tribal affairs department who requested anonymity told DawnNewsTV.
Five security personnel will be provided to each candidate in sensitive areas of the province, the officer added.
Over 1,000 candidates in Balochistan are vying for a total of 51 provincial assembly seats and more than 300 for 16 NA seats.
This decision in this regard was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh. All divisional commissioners and senior security officials attended the meeting.
The meeting also decided to form threat assessment committees on a divisional level to asses the security of candidates and voters during the election, the officer said. Intelligence and monitoring committees had already been formed on a district level across the province to ensure adherence to the election code of conduct and security of candidates. Deputy commissioners will head the threat assessment committees comprising representatives of all intelligence agencies.
Candidates belonging to Baloch nationalist groups including the Balochistan National Party-Mengal and National Party have recently been targeted in Makran and Awaran districts of Balochistan.