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ECP suspends hearing of PM’s disqualification references until SC decision on Panamagate

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election-commision

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday decided to suspend hearing of disqualification references, filed against PML and PTI leaders in connection with the Panama leaks.

The decision was taken on a plea submitted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Sulman Aslam Butt. He had pleaded with the ECP to suspend hearing on the references on grounds that the apex court had taken up the matter.

The hearing of the case has been suspended until the Supreme Court decides on the matter.

Earlier, members of opposition parties opposed the PM counsel’s plea, saying that the ECP is an autonomous body, so it should continue hearing the references.

The ECP also turned down three references against PTI leaders Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen for non prosecution. Both have been directed to submit response over NA Speaker’s reference till November 16.

Four political parties: Pakistan Tehree-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People Party (PPP), Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Awami Muslim League (AML) had submitted separate references against the prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Capt (Retd) Safdar and Hamza Shahbaz, while two individuals Malik Khalil and Bilal had submitted references against PTI leader Jahangir Tareen and Shahnawaz Dhalon had filed a reference against PTI chief Imran Khan.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court directed the government and other parties to present their Terms of References (TORs) for formation of commission on Panama Papers today (Thursday).

During the hearing of petitions on Panama Papers in Islamabad, the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf expressed their consent for the formation of the commission. The court asked the parties to present in writing their proposal for formation of the commission.

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