ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has disassociated itself from seven sub-organisations functioning in various parts of the world, declaring them “extra-constitutional bodies”.
According to a “circular” issued with the signature of party’s central secretary general Arshad Dad here on Wednesday, these bodies have been functioning in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Holland (the Netherlands).
The circular, a copy of which was released to the media by the party, says that all these seven bodies “have no association with the PTI and are not recognised by the party”.
The bodies which have been declared “extra-constitutional” by the PTI are: Pakistan Youth Council, Middle East (Saudi Arabia); Pakistan Insafian Forum, Qatar; PTI Junoon Group, UAE; Dubai PTI Kashmir Chapter; PTI Welfare Wing, Saudi Arabia; PTI, Holland Chapter; and Pakistan Youth Council, Lahore.
Spokesman says decision was taken as these outfits were ‘misusing’ party’s forum
A spokesman for the party, when contacted to know the reasons behind the move, said that the decision had been taken after the leadership received reports that the officials associated with these organisations were “misusing” the party’s forum and they were found involved in some activities which were against the party’s basic policies.
Responding to a question, the spokesman denied that any of these bodies had been involved in the foreign funding case currently being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
“This action has nothing to do with the foreign funding case,” he said.
He admitted that a number of other bodies and sub-oraganisations claiming to be the part of the PTI were functioning inside and outside the country, but so far action had been taken against those against whom the party leadership had received some complaints.
Moreover, the spokesman explained that the PTI’s new constitution had already been drafted and it would be unveiled on May 1 at a ceremony being organised by the party in Islamabad to mark the 23rd foundation day of the party.
He said that in the new constitution, all the wings and sub-organisations of the PTI had been mentioned and it had been decided that all other organisations and bodies having no mention in the party’s constitution would automatically become unconstitutional after implementation of the constitution.
A party dissident and one of its founding members, Akbar S. Babar, had filed a petition in the ECP, alleging that the foreign accounts of the PTI used to collect funds had been concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the commission.
He alleged in his petition that the party had received money from the Middle East countries through illegal channels.
The case was filed on Nov 14, 2014, by Mr Babar after he developed differences with the PTI leadership over internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political funding.
On April 1, 2015, after scrutinising PTI’s annual audit reports, the ECP had ruled that the party had failed to disclose the sources and details of foreign funds received. But instead of submitting the accounts, the PTI challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction to scrutinise its accounts.
On Oct 8, 2015, a five-member bench of the ECP issued a detailed order saying that only the commission was the right constitutional forum to scrutinise the accounts of political parties, without any time bar.
On Nov 26, 2015, the PTI challenged the ECP order in the Islamabad High Court, which finally remanded the case back to the ECP on Feb 15.
The case is still pending before the ECP.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019