Pakistan’s former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said he will challenge cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s eligibility to hold public office under Article 62 of the Constitution over allegations that he fathered a love child.Chaudhry, now president of the Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party, said during an interview with a private TV news channel on Sunday that he has evidence to show Khan had admitted to being the father of Tyrian White, the daughter of late British socialite Sita White, while abroad, but denied the same in Pakistan.He said his party will file objections against Khan’s nomination papers before the relevant returning officer.
Article 62 of the Constitution list the conditions for becoming a member of Parliament. It states that candidates contesting elections must be of good character and honest and righteous. These provisions have been used to oust leaders such as former premier Nawaz Sharif from office.Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, has long faced accusations of being the father of Tyrian White, who is believed to be 26. A court in California declared in 1997 that Khan was the father after he failed to contest a paternity suit filed by Sita. Khan also refused to provide DNA samples to disprove paternity.After the verdict, Khan told the US media he would be willing to submit to a blood test in Pakistan and to stand by the decision of a Pakistani court, arguing he was not a resident of California or or the UK.
Chaudhry said there is legal precedent for politicians to be disqualified for dishonesty under Article 62 of the Constitution. He said he had received documents which confirm the parentage of Tyrian, and that he believes Khan could not be considered “sadiq” and “ameen” (honest and righteous) in terms of the Constitutional article.”Imran has mentioned his sons in his nomination papers but made no mention of his daughter. We shall take the case against him in the Supreme Court,” said Chaudhry, who was once removed from office by former dictator Pervez Musharraf and was known for his activism.
Political leaders, he said, should be ethically clean and honest. “It is a matter of character, morality and law,” he added.Chaudhry further said: “How can Imran Khan can go around the world speaking of justice when he is not even willing to recognise his own daughter?”He added that the issue of Tyrian’s parentage had never been raised in a court in Pakistan. “Now it should be adjudicated on,” he said.