Captain scores hat-trick

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Multan, Aug 26: The captain has scored political hat-trick as election tribunal for NA-154, Multan announced on Wednesday verdict in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Jahangir Tareen, days after National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was unseated from NA-122, Lahore constituency. Election tribunal Justice Rana Zahid Mehmood declared the poll result null and void, calling for re-elections in the constituency. According to the short order, massive irregularities were reported in the polls with no mention of rigging. PTI leader Jehangir Khan Tareen – a runner-up candidate at NA-154 constituency in the 2013 general elections – had filed an application against the winning candidate from Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N), Siddique Baloch. The election tribunal on Aug 20 had reserved its verdict after the lawyers of both the parties completed their arguments. The constituency (NA-154) is among the four where PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been demanding a recount and verification of the thumb impressions. Earlier, accepting a plea by PTI, the apex court on Friday vacated the Lahore High Court (LHC) stay order on the verification of thumb impression at a National Assembly constituency in Lodhran district of Punjab. An independent candidate, Muhammad Siddique Khan Baloch who later joined PML-N, was declared successful by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in this constituency in 2013. The result was challenged by Jehangir Tareen through an election petition filed under Section 52 of the Act, claiming that Mr Baloch possessed fake secondary education, intermediate and undergraduate degrees and he committed illegal practices on polling day. The tribunal on May 21, 2014, had directed National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to carry out thumb verification on the request of Mr Tareen but Mr Baloch got a stay order from the Lahore High Court on May 26. Tareen moved the Supreme Court through his counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada against the LHC decision. The apex court on June 6, 2014, vacated the LHC stay order and directed the tribunal to hold proceedings on a daily basis for the verification of thumb impressions.

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