ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued a contempt notice to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan over his scandalous remarks about the commission.

On a contempt petition filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar, the ECP has summoned Mr Khan to appear before it on Feb 21 to explain his contemptuous remarks accusing the ECP of being biased against the PTI in the foreign funding case.

Mr Khan’s counsel did not turn up to represent him in the foreign funding case that was fixed for Monday.

This case too was filed in November 2014 by Mr Babar alleging serious corruption in managing PTI donations received from ‘illegal’ foreign sources.

A full bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza is hearing the case.

The ECP had asked the PTI to submit all documents, including bank statements of PTI employees in whose accounts money was received allegedly from illegal sources. The documents sought include registration of two offshore companies in the US which were used to collect and transmit over $3 million to Pakistan in the PTI accounts.

In April 2015, the ECP after scrutiny had found no traces of these funds in the PTI audit reports submitted before it.

Mr Babar informed the commission that Mr Khan had accused the ECP of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel had tendered an apology with the commission. He said the PTI chairman in a TV interview said that his counsel had tendered an apology in his personal capacity and that he had not apologised.

Later, talking to reporters Mr Babar regretted that the leader who gave lectures on morality was continuously trying to evade the process of law. He said if he had not done anything wrong, why he was reluctant to produce the required documents.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Danyal Aziz pointed out that PTI leader Ishaq Khakwani was on record to have stated that the junior counsel of the PTI tendered an apology to the ECP.

Both the foreign funding case and contempt case will be heard on Feb 21 now.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2017