Nawaz to leave country before elections, claims Aitzaz Ahsan

Court orders to unseize Nawaz Sharif's properties in Toshakhana case

ISLAMABAD, DEC 30 /DNA/ – Veteran politician and senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan has predicted that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif would leave the country before elections and watch the results unfold from there.

In the interview, the PPP stalwart also claimed that JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman was “retreating [from elections]”, claiming that from the two drums that are beaten — either of victory or retreat — Rehman seemed to be “beating the drum of a retreat”.

Previously, the lawyer had also called Sharif a “ladla”(favoured) and had claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker government were trying to ensure Nawaz Sharif wins a two-thirds majority in next year’s general elections.

Nawaz, who had returned to Pakistan on October 21 after spending four years in self-imposed exile, said he had “no wish for revenge” and stressed on beginning a “new journey” towards growth.

‘Bat symbol’

As far as the PTI’s on-going tussle with the election commission goes, Ahsan said it would be unwise for the election watchdog to pursue this matter any further.

The ECP and the PTI have been exchanging blows over the past few days. The controversy stems from the electoral watchdog’s earlier decision to strip PTI of its symbol following the annulment of its intra-party elections for not complying with the Elections Act and the party’s own constitution.

PTI’s new chairman, Gohar Khan, had also claimed there was a conspiracy brewing against the party to snatch its electoral symbol ‘bat’ and exclude it from the upcoming elections.

“Is the election commission conducting elections or contesting them?” Ahsan asked, adding that the Ccommission cannot — and should not — go to high court regarding the bat symbol against PTI as it will show its bias against the party.

The lawyer was referring to the ECP’s decision to challenge the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) order reinstating the PTI’s election symbol. Sources familiar with the matter told the ECP initially considered appealing directly to the Supreme Court but ultimately opted for a review petition with the PHC, which is scheduled to revisit the case on Jan 9. The ECP is also on notice to appear before the bench on the date.

The commission has yet to adhere to the PHC’s specific directives, including publishing PTI’s intra-party elections certificate on the ECP’s official website and reinstating the party’s election symbol.

Ahsan further added that disputing a judgment would create a chain, “If the High Court reverses the decision of the District Court, should the District Judge go to the Supreme Court to ask why the High Court has given a decision against his decision?”=DNA