The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other respondents for January 11 on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan challenging a notice of the Commission on proceedings to remove him from party chairmanship after his disqualification in Toshakhana reference. The court also stopped the electoral watchdog from taking any coercive measures against Imran Khan in the matter, till the next date of hearing, besides seeking assistance from the attorney general of Pakistan. The single bench comprising Justice Jawad Hassan passed the orders while hearing the petition filed by the PTI chairman. Barrister Ali Zafar represented Imran Khan before the court and argued that the ECP issued the impugned notice to Imran Khan on proceedings to remove him from party chairmanship whereas it did not have any powers to hold such proceedings. However, the ECP’s counsel raised an objection and pointed out that a full bench had been formed on such a matter. At this stage, the court remarked that the petition had nothing to do with the matter and asked when Imran Khan resigned from his seat in the National Assembly. Barrister Ali Zafar submitted that Imran Khan resigned from his seat in April 2022. He submitted that the NA speaker sent a reference to the ECP against Imran Khan over concealing assets, He submitted that the ECP gave a verdict on the reference and disqualified Imran Khan. “We adopted a stance before the ECP that it could not give such a verdict as only a court could do so”, he added. To a court query, Barrister Ali Zafar argued that the verdict had been challenged before the Islamabad High Court and it was still pending. The ECP’s counsel argued that the commission just decided the reference forwarded by the speaker. There is a provision in the Constitution for disqualification of any member and the matter was sent to the Commission for the purpose, he added. The court, after hearing initial arguments of the parties, issued notices to the respondents for January 11 and stopped the ECP from taking any coercive measures against Imran Khan in the matter, till the next date of hearing.