The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman failed to appear before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday despite having been served a final notice over the party’s failure to hold intra-party elections, a private TV channel reported. A day earlier, the electoral watchdog had summoned the PTI chief, warning him that if he failed to appear before the commission, the ECP might — under Section 215 (5) of the Elections Act, 2017 — declare his party ineligible to obtain an election symbol for future polls. Referring to Section 209(1) of the Election Act, the ECP pointed out that every registered political party was bound to provide the commission with a certificate about the holding of its intra-party polls. The PTI’s intra-party elections were scheduled to be held on June 13 in 2021 under the party’s constitution. In May last year, the commission issued a show-cause notice to Imran for his failure to hold intra-party elections of the PTI in his capacity as its chairman. The ECP extended the date at the request of the PTI and allowed it to conduct its intra-party elections by June 13, 2022. However, the former ruling party failed to hold its intra-party polls even by the new date. No progress could be made on the matter during the hearing on Friday, as the PTI’s lawyer Barrister Gohar Ali appeared before the panel headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and requested for the hearing to be postponed instead. The lawyer argued that the record of the election could not be submitted because the PTI had held elections before amendments were passed in the intra-party polls law. Upon this, an ECP member observed that the PTI chief wrote that on June 8 the constitutional amendment was passed and on June 10, intraparty elections were held. Later, the lawyer requested the electoral watchdog to adjourn the hearing. The CEC responded that in media statements, it was said that if the watchdog would serve the party notices, the concerned persons would provide responses. “We have served the notice on request of the PTI,” he said before adjourning the proceedings until August 8 (Monday). Separately, Imran Khan’s sisters, Aleema Khan and Uzma Khan, have submitted their statements before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in four cases related to the May 9 vandalism. Insiders familiar with their appearance before the investigators told a private TV channel that both of them disassociated themselves from the incidents of vandalism on May 9. They revealed that Uzma Khan acknowledged her participation in the demonstrations outside Jinnah House (the corps commander house in Lahore); however, she distanced herself from the destruction and chaos that ensued within the premises. Aleema Khan also distanced herself from the events of May 9 in which damages were inflicted upon government and military properties. In her statement, Aleema Khan stated that she was present at Lahore’s Zaman Park, Imran Khan’s residence, at the time of attack at Jinnah House. The JIT team had summoned both the sisters to record their statements. Earlier this month, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) had granted interim bail till August 8 to Uzma Khan and Aleema Khan in the four cases. The court ordered both sisters to submit surety bonds of Rs100,000 each for availing the relief, besides asking them to join the investigations. Uzma Khan and Aleema Khan had approached the court for bail after issuance of their arrest warrants in cases of attacking Jinnah House and setting ablaze a container at Kalma Chowk and PML-N office in Model Town, during May 9 vandalism.