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The Tyrian Case
Imran Khan’s disqualification

The Tyrian Case

The IHC forms larger bench to her plea seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has formed a larger bench to hear a petition seeking former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification for allegedly having a secret daughter—a case whose outcomes may have far-reaching implications for Pakistani politics.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq on February 2 announced forming the larger bench a day after Imran Khan, who is also the chairman of the former ruling party the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), submitted his reply to the petition.

The petition filed last year by a Sajid Mehmood claimed that Tyrian White was Imran’s daughter from Sita White, a fact as evidenced by the former premier making arrangements to provide for Tyrian’s upkeep in the United Kingdom.

The petitioner said Imran is not a Sadiq and Amean—truthful and trustworthy—a he did not disclose that he also has a daughter in the nomination papers and affidavits he submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for contesting July 2018 elections and must be disqualified as a lawmaker.

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Earlier, on January 19, the IHC asked Imran to submit his reply by January 27 after his counsel Salman Akram Raja sought time citing the need for the litigants to go through a biometric verification process before the submission of documents.

Later, in his reply, the PTI chief said the petition for his disqualification was “not maintainable and may not be proceeded” as he had already resigned from the National Assembly and was not part of the current assembly anymore.

Imran Khan stated that his resignation from the National Assembly “is irrevocable and he has no intention of taking up a seat in the present National Assembly”.

Imran’s party members resigned from the National Assembly after the PTI failed to block a no-trust motion moved against the former premier by opposition parties in April last year. The National Assembly speaker has, however, accepted only a portion of these resignations.

The PTI chief argued in the reply that the IHC could not examine the “veracity or otherwise of any declaration or affidavit issued” in the exercise of its constitutional jurisdiction, especially with respect to a person who had ceased to hold public office.

“Such examination requires the leading of evidence, examination and cross examination of witnesses in the course of a trial by a competent forum,” the reply said.

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The PTI chief also referred to similar petitions that were dismissed by the IHC and the Supreme Court previously on the same grounds. “A case considered once before to be ‘improper to proceed with’ could not be taken up again as per the law,” he added.

Imran also raised an objection to the IHC bench, stating that Justice Aamer Farooq had already recused himself from hearing a similar case in 2018.  During the hearing on February 2, Justice Farooq remarked that he had distanced himself from a similar case in 2018 due to some reasons.

Talking with reference to the PTI chief’s claim that he was no longer a lawmaker, the judge said the court would ask the ECP about the status of Imran Khan as a public officeholder. The court was later adjourned till February 9.

Other claims

The petition alleged that the PTI chairman did not marry Sita White because her father categorically told Imran that if he married Sita, they would not get a penny of his money. “Only thereafter, he met Jemima, another rich lady, and in a very short time [he] married her.”

The petition, titled “Imran versus Imran, the untold story”, stated that the custody of Tyrian Jade was given to Jemima as Ana-Lusia White. In her will dated February 27, 2004, Sita had nominated Jemima Khan as guardian of her daughter. Sita White died that year on May 13.

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Jemima Goldsmith and Imran married in 1995 and separated in 2004.

The petition also referred to the judgment of a superior court in California, which, it claimed, held that Imran Khan was the father of Tyrian Jade. Imran Khan initially joined the proceedings through his attorney, but defaulted after he was asked to undergo a blood test, it added.

However, he later submitted a declaration to a court of guardianship when Caroline White, Sita’s sister, asked the court that she be appointed Tyrian’s guardian, the petition alleged.

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