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The Ruling of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa: A Tremor that Shakes Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Recent General Elections

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CJP Qazi Faez Isa has upheld his groundbreaking January 13 ruling, which declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) intra-party elections illegal. This ruling, despite a pending review petition, led to the party losing its election symbol in the recent general elections. The Supreme Court Registrar’s letter to British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, in response to her remarks at the Asma Jahangir Conference, has sparked concerns among legal experts due to the pending review petition against the January 13 order.

During a recent hearing, CJP Isa grappled with the case of the reserved seat and faced the task of clarifying the misinterpretation of the January 13 order. He questioned why PTI candidates did not request the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the bat symbol. Despite criticism from legal experts, CJP Isa emphasized that PTI had failed to conduct intra-party elections even when its leader held the prime ministerial position, and instead of complying with the directive, they challenged it in various high courts.

The co-signatory of the January 13 order, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, reiterated that if there were any grievances regarding the non-allocation of reserved seats, the PTI could approach the court again. However, some observers have noted the PTI’s apparent reluctance to pursue the allocation of reserved seats through the ECP following the elections, which has drawn scrutiny.

During the courtroom proceedings, CJP Isa firmly cautioned the counsel multiple times, reiterating that the court could not afford to spend time analyzing the PTI’s shortcomings. The issues related to the PTI and its associated decisions with the ECP were not on that day’s docket, underscoring the significant impact of the January 13 ruling and the CJP’s resolute stance on the matter.

The PTI’s legal team seemed to lack a post-election strategy, as some lawyers urged the party to approach the ECP for the allocation of reserved seats, but the party remained hesitant. The ongoing legal battle and the implications of CJP Isa’s ruling have become a focal point, with the court’s attention drawn to the PTI’s compliance with the directive on intra-party elections.

It is apparent that CJP Isa’s January 13 ruling has had a far-reaching impact, not only shaping the future of PTI but also raising critical discussions about the significance of intra-party elections in Pakistan’s democratic process.

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