KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) asked on Friday the jailed Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Wasim Akhtar to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to seek permission for the submission of nomination papers to run for mayor.
The last day for the submission of nomination papers for the mayoral elections, which are scheduled for August 24, is today (Saturday) and candidates are required to come in person for the submission. Since Akhtar is in jail and has been denied bail multiple times, he had approached the ATC to allow him to go to the ECP in person and submit his papers.
Akhtar was taken into custody in a case pertaining to the treatment of alleged terrorists at Dr Asim Hussain’s Ziauddin hospitals. Later, the police had also shown his arrest in 10 more cases. Filing an application on Akhtar’s behalf, Advocate Khawaja Naveed said that since his client is a mayoral candidate, a direction must be issued to the jail authorities to make arrangements for his production before the ECP office so he can file his nomination papers as well as for the scrutiny process and the eventual oath-taking ceremony.
The judge dismissed, however, the application. The court can only issue production order of a suspect if their appearance was required before the court, he said. The judge asked the applicant to move the ECP or the retuning officer to issue a production order to participate in the election process.
The court said it has no objection if Akhtar was produced before any forum for the elections.