ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday disqualified former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for five years following his conviction in the cipher case this week.
The disqualification comes five days before the February 8 general elections, which the PTI is contesting amid a state crackdown and without its iconic electoral symbol – bat.
On Jan 30, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act handed both former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi 10 years in jail in the cipher case.
The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency s charge sheet alleges was never returned by Imran. The PTI claimed the document contained a threat from the United States to oust Imran as prime minister.
Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi were facing trial in cipher case in Adiala Jail from last year for distorting the facts of the diplomatic cipher.
Both the PTI leaders were accused of conspiracy to misuse the contents of the cipher to fulfill nefarious purposes.
More to follow