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Lahore, December 30, 2023 — In a dramatic turn of events, the nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan for the NA-122 constituency in Lahore have been rejected by the returning officer. The decision, backed by an eight-page written verdict, cites Imran Khan’s conviction for “moral turpitude.”

The rejection is grounded in the findings that the Additional Sessions Judge of Islamabad had sentenced Imran Khan for a crime falling under the purview of moral turpitude. Crucially, this conviction has not been suspended or annulled, forming the basis for the rejection of his nomination papers.

The verdict elaborated on a five-year disqualification, as per Article 63-1 of the Constitution, asserting that the penalty remains in effect. Imran Khan’s candidacy has faced objections filed by former PML-N MPA Mian Naseer Ahmed, and these objections have been deemed valid by the returning officer.

The rejection of Imran Khan’s nomination for NA-122 injects further complexity into the political landscape, already marked by a series of rejections and controversies surrounding key figures. The specter of “moral turpitude” casts a shadow over Imran Khan’s eligibility, potentially altering the dynamics of the political narrative in the lead-up to the February 8, 2024, general elections.

As legal and political circles grapple with the implications of this decision, PTI finds itself facing a setback with the rejection of one of its most prominent leaders. The coming days are likely to witness heightened legal scrutiny, appeals, and potential reverberations across the political spectrum as the nation hurtles toward a critical juncture in its democratic journey.