ECP notifies PPP's Gilani as senator.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday accepted for hearing a petition by the ruling PTI seeking disqualification of PPP Senator-elect Yousuf Raza Gilani, while directing that the names of two PTI lawmakers also be included as respondents, a private TV channel reported.

The ECP also decided to issue notices to the former prime minister and his son Ali Haider Gilani over a video in which the latter was seen telling PTI MNAs how to make a vote in the Senate election invalid and purportedly offered money and development funds.

The commission once again asked the PTI to also include as respondents the names of two of its lawmakers - Jamil Ahmed and Fahim Khan - who were allegedly involved in the video. However, the ECP rejected the plea to stop the issuance of the notification confirming Gilani's victory in the recent elections for the Upper House. In a notification issued on Wednesday, the ECP notified the former prime minister as senator.

A four-member bench of the Election Commission, headed by its member from Punjab, Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi, heard the petition.

Advocate Amir Abbas, lawyer for PTI's Alia Hamza, said that a video had been presented in the case regarding NA-75 Daska by-election, the forensic analysis of which has not been conducted. "The commission declared that people had been killed in Daska [but] nobody has been punished yet. Nothing was known about the killers till the ECP's decision. If the candidate, election agent, or someone on behalf of them does corruption, the election becomes void. Corruption in elections includes bribery and influencing of voters," he said.

The ECP member instructed the lawyer to talk about the facts of the case since the commission was aware of the law. The member from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Irshad Qaiser, observed that the case was a "question of the country's future". He assured the petitioners that whatever decision the ECP took on this "sensitive matter" would be done so independently.

However, Abbas argued that the video and evidence in the Daska case were "not looked at properly". To this, ECP member Qureshi replied that the case was pending before the Supreme Court, telling Abbas not to stress on the Daska decision because it had been challenged.

Abbas questioned whether permission could be granted for corruption if the ballot papers were not identifiable. "If someone accepts [his corruption] before the entire media, it is considered as proof. Tribunals' decisions do...

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