ECP reserves verdict on alleged poll code violation by Imran, KP minister in Kurram.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reserved on Wednesday its verdict on the alleged violation of the code of conduct by PTI chief Imran Khan and provincial minister Mohammad Iqbal Wazir during the campaign for a by-poll in Kurram's NA-45 constituency.

The NA-45 seat was among several rendered vacant after PTI lawmakers had resigned en masse from the National Assembly (NA) following Imran's ouster as the prime minister through a no-confidence vote in April. Imran had won the by-poll held in the constituency last month, trouncing his Pakistan DemAoAcratic Movement-backed rival and other candidates.

The victory, however, had come merely days after the district monitoring officer (DMO) of Kurram had issued a notice to the PTI chief over the alleged poll code violation while campaigning for the election.

'It has come into the notice of the undersigned (DMO) that you, Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, contesting candidate NA-45 Kurram-I, have solicited and utilised the services/assistance from a public office holder namely Mohammad Iqbal Wazir, the minister for relief, rehabilitation and settlement, during the ongoing campaign activities and electioneering process which is tantamount to violation of para-8 of the code of conduct published by ECP,' the notice said.

When the matter was taken up by the ECP today, the electoral watchdog's special secretary said government vehicles were used while campaigning.

'How are they denying the use of government resources?' he posed a rhetorical question, alleging that Imran had violated the election code of conduct previously as well.

The special secretary called for strict action against Wazir, accusing him of attempting to provoke anger among the public.

Moreover, he continued, Wazir's 'tweets have affected the election commission's reputation.' The official, however, did not elaborate on the contents of the tweets he was referring to.

For his part, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja remarked, 'He (Wazir) may not realise, but he said he was ready to sacrifice his ministry.'

Arguments by PTI's counsel

Presenting his arguments, the PTI's counsel claimed 'two officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are issuing these notices (over alleged poll code violations)'.

At that, the CEC said notices had also been issued in Punjab.

The counsel then argued that the first notice was issued on September 3, in which the DMO had said that Wazir should be expelled from the Kurram district. 'But Iqbal Wazir wasn't...

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