Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday voiced concern over his disqualification verdict and announced that he will “definitely” challenge the appellate tribunal’s decision.
“The election is not a game. It should not be turned into a spectacle,” Abbasi said while talking to DawnNewsTV.
He, however, denied any possibility that the PML-N could boycott the elections, asserting that he really “does not wish for things to get controversial”.
“I have not switched any loyalties,” he said, adding that “How can anyone claim I am not sadiq (honest) and ameen (trustworthy)?”
“How can a decision be made without having heard the defendant’s argument?” Abbasi asked, adding that he will definitely challenge the election tribunal’s decision.
Earlier in the day, Judge Ibadur Rehman Lodhi wrote in his detailed judgement that the former premier was “guilty of concealment of facts and withholding of the complete information from his voters”. Lodhi also went on to declare that Abbasi was not qualified to be elected a member of parliament according to Article 62(1)(f) of the constitution.
Elaborating on the decision, the appellate tribunal’s judge had stated that Abbasi had declared the value of his house in Islamabad to be Rs0.3 million but put it under mortgage against an amount of Rs24.7 million.
He also noted the discrepancies in two affidavits submitted by Abbasi as one had mentioned shares in Air Blue and Blue Pines Inn Murree, “after interpolation”, while the other did not.
Judge Lodhi stated that the stance of the returning officer (RO) — who an inquiry has been initiated against — was different from that of Abbasi’s lawyer on the changes made to the affidavit.
Abbasi will now be able to challenge the decision in high court.