The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has disqualified former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for five years and de-notified him as a returned candidate from NA-45 Kurram following his conviction in Toshakhana case. In a notification issued on Tuesday, the ECP cited the August 5 court order and declared the PTI disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution read with Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017. “As a consequence, Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan read with Section 232 of the Elections Act,2017,” the notification added. “Therefore, Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is disqualified for a period of five years and is also de-notified as a returned candidate from constituency NA-45 Kurram-I,” the notification read. Reacting to the development, the PTI said it rejected the notification for Imran’s disqualification. “The nation too rejects this attempt for the execution of the ‘minus-one formula’ in haste on the basis of a discriminatory decision, which is a result of a controversial trial,” the party said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. Earlier in the day, the PTI held a core committee meeting where Imran was declared the party’s chairman for lifetime. Imran also filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through his lawyers on Tuesday against the trial court’s Toshakhana verdict, saying that the said order was “not sustainable” and “liable to be set aside”. The petition will be taken up today(Wednesday) by a two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri. Imran’s conviction and consequent disqualification follow a tumultuous period in Pakistan’s politics which began with his ouster as the prime minister through a no-confidence vote in April last year. After the premature end of his government, the ex-premier launched an aggressive campaign under the slogan of ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’, calling for elections and blaming the incumbent government and army leadership for his ouster. His criticism of the current civilian and military leadership had increased leading up to his arrest on May 9 in the Al Qadir Trust case – a development that sparked protests across the country, during which several properties, including military installations, were vandalised. The PTI continues to face action since. His disqualification by the ECP comes four days before his government would have completed its tenure – on August 12 – had the party lawmakers not resigned in the wake of Imran’s removal.