Tribunal dismisses appeals against Khawaja Asif, Firdous Asiq Awan

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LAHORE: An appellate tribunal of Lahore High Court dismissed appeals challenging the decisions of Returning Officers for accepting nomination papers of former foreign minister Khawaja Asif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) NA-73  and Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from NA-72.
The petitioner who was the voter of the constituency claimed that Khawaja Asif submitted false declaration about his assets in the nomination papers.  The appellant requested the tribunal to set aside the decision of the RO and reject the papers of Asif.
With regards to the petition against Awan, a voter of her constituency accused her of concealing three of her properties in the nomination papers. He alleged that Awan also failed to provide the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with information about her marriage and children.
The tribunal comprising Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi dismissed the appeals and upheld the decisions of the returning officers.
Counsel for the ECP opposed the appeals and argued that the ROs concerned accepted the nomination papers of the respondent candidates in accordance with the law.
The tribunal also dismissed an appeal against the acceptance of nomination papers of PML-N’s Maulana Ghayasuddin from PP-47, Bhakkar.
Hafiz Sher Ahmad, another candidate from the same constituency, challenged the candidature of Ghayasuddin accusing him of concealing details of assets. However, the tribunal dismissed the appeal for lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, another tribunal comprising Justice Faisal Zaman allowed two separate appeals and rejected nomination papers of two brothers Saeed Ahmad Niwani from NA-98 and Rasheed Akbar Niwani from PP-90 (Gujranwala).
Inamullah Niazi, an opponent candidate filed the appeals pleading that both respondents had previously been declared disqualified by the Supreme Court for possessing fake graduation degrees.
He said that the ROs concerned ignored this fact and accepted the nomination papers of both brothers. He asked the tribunal to set aside the decisions of the ROs and rejected the nomination papers of Niwani brothers.