ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza on Tuesday questioned the contradictory stance of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on the powers of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to scrutinise past records.

During the hearing by an ECP full bench of identical petitions seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the CEC pointed out to PTI’s senior lawyer Hamid Khan that there was another case in which the party’s stance was that the ECP did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case and investigate potential violations of relevant laws in records submitted to the commission.

The reason he had clubbed the two cases for hearing was because similar questions had been raised about the powers of the ECP, the CEC said, adding that even after the commission had ruled that it had all the powers under the Constitution and relevant laws to hear the foreign funding case, the PTI had challenged the order and filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court. “And yet in its reference filed against the prime minister and others, the PTI is arguing that the ECP has all the powers to hear and scrutinise past records,” the CEC said.

Hamid Khan said he was not legal counsel in the foreign funding case, though he was aware of the case.

The CEC said: “The reason for clubbing the two cases together is precisely for this reason that I would like to hear from the PTI on why it has two contradictory and divergent stances on principally the same issue of ECP jurisdiction in two cases with underlying similarities.”

At the last hearing of the foreign funding case against the PTI, the commission had asked the party to collect all financial documents sought by the petitioner, including bank statements and accounts, and submit them when the hearing resumed.

The ECP adjourned the hearing of all pleas seeking disqualification of the prime minister as well as the foreign funding case against the PTI till Sept 28.

The prime minister’s counsel, who was asked to submit a written reply to the allegations, sought more time.

Later talking to reporters, Syed Ahmed Hasan, the counsel for Akbar S. Babar in the foreign funding case, said the CEC had sought explanation from the PTI over its divergent stance in similar cases before the ECP.

Mr Babar said that today the PTI proved to be a “party of contradictions” as it wanted accountability of others, but refused its own accountability.

Published in Dawn September 7th, 2016

Opinion

In defamation’s name

In defamation’s name

It provides yet more proof that the undergirding logic of public authority in Pakistan is legal and extra-legal coercion rather than legitimised consent.

Editorial

Mercury rising
Updated 27 May, 2024

Mercury rising

Each of the country's leaders is equally responsible for the deep pit Pakistan seems to have fallen into.
Antibiotic overuse
27 May, 2024

Antibiotic overuse

ANTIMICROBIAL resistance is an escalating crisis claiming some 700,000 lives annually in Pakistan. It is the third...
World Cup team
27 May, 2024

World Cup team

PAKISTAN waited until the very end to name their T20 World Cup squad. Even then, there was last-minute drama. Four...
ICJ rebuke
Updated 26 May, 2024

ICJ rebuke

The reason for Israel’s criminal behaviour is that it is protected by its powerful Western friends.
Hot spells
26 May, 2024

Hot spells

WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate...
Defiant stance
26 May, 2024

Defiant stance

AT a time when the country is in talks with the IMF for a medium-term loan crucial to bolstering the fragile ...