ECP urged to decide PTI funding case without delay

Published November 28, 2021
The PPP has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the seven-year-old foreign funding case of the ruling PTI without further delay. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan/File
The PPP has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the seven-year-old foreign funding case of the ruling PTI without further delay. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan/File

ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the seven-year-old foreign funding case of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) without any further delay when it has all the related evidence.

“The case related to the funding of the PTI from the banned sources is a tale of historic fraud,” said PPP information secretary and member of the National Assembly Shazia Marri on Saturday.

She said the ECP possessed all the proofs and, therefore, it should decide the case as early as possible, according to a statement issued by the PPP media office.

Ms Marri alleged that the PTI government was making every effort to block the announcement of the ECP verdict in the foreign funding case. She alleged Prime Minister Imran Khan had collected funds for his cancer hospital through cheques in the name of the PTI from foreign banned sources.

PPP leader calls the funding from banned sources ‘a tale of historic fraud’

The PPP leader said the prime minister who raised the slogan of accountability wanted to evade his own accountability.

One of the founding members of the PTI and a party dissident, Akbar S. Babar, had filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, including its chairman Imran Khan and the then secretary general Dr Arif Alvi, in November 2014.

In his petition before the ECP, Mr Babar who was once known as a close confidant of Mr Khan had alleged that the PTI leaders were involved in illegal funds collection, corruption, money laundering, and misappropriation of party funds under the political party’s funding laws.

For over a year, case proceedings remained pending before the ECP, because the PTI filed a writ petition in October 2015 before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in an attempt to restrain the ECP scrutiny of its accounts. In February 2017, the IHC remanded the case back to the ECP for a fresh review of its jurisdiction.

Later, the PTI in a tit-for-tat move also filed similar cases against the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and asked the ECP to scrutinise the accounts of all the registered political parties on the same terms of reference which were being followed in the PTI foreign funding case.

After the last hearing of the case on Oct 11, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, who is a petitioner in the cases against the opposition parties, claimed that the ECP had allowed the PTI to peruse documents related to foreign funding cases against the PML-N and the PPP.

The minister alleged that the PML-N had concealed seven accounts while the PPP had hidden 12 accounts from the ECP.

Next day, however, PPP’s finance secretary Senator Saleem Mandviwala not only refuted the minister’s claim but also asked the ECP to take notice of the “false and incorrect statement” made by the state minister.

Mr Mandviwala termed the minister’s statement an attempt to influence outcome of the foreign funding case being heard by the ECP against the country’s three major political parties.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021

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