Govt leaders want Imran banned, disqualified over ECP ‘charge sheet’

Published August 3, 2022
FEDERAL minister Shazia Marri addresses a press conference on Tuesday. Beside her is PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi.—White Star
FEDERAL minister Shazia Marri addresses a press conference on Tuesday. Beside her is PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi.—White Star

• PM says prohibited funding verdict proves PTI chief a ‘liar’
• Nawaz recalls how the person who would lecture on honesty had been exposed as ‘biggest thief in history’
• Maryam says Imran Khan took money from foreign powers to create anarchy
• Info minister demands Imran resign as party chief immediately • PPP minister says legal action to be pursued after ECP ‘proves’ PTI’s financial crimes • PDM head Maulana Fazlur Rehman demands Imran’s disqualification, ban on PTI

ISLAMABAD: Terming the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the prohibited funding case of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) a “charge sheet” against the party, members of the ruling coalition claim it has proved ‘anti-Pakistan forces’ were behind establishment of the party, and labelled party chief Imran Khan everything from a liar, corrupt, foreign agent to a money launderer.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday maintained the ECP decision declared Mr Khan a “certified liar” for submitting false affidavits, while PPP Chairman and foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s spokesman said the verdict proved the former premier was a corrupt person and running his political party under the name of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.

“The ECP verdict on PTI foreign funding case charge-sheets Imran Niazi for violating the Constitution, submitting false affidavits, and accepting foreign money,” the prime minister tweeted after the ECP announced its decision on Tuesday morning.

“Proven yet again that he is a certified liar,” he added, and urged the nation to ponder over the implications of Mr Khan’s politics funded by foreigners.

From London, former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif urged the federal government to take “immediate legal action” against Imran Khan following the ECP verdict, saying that Imran used to give “lectures” to people about honesty. “Today, the ECP’s verdict has shown that it is actually him who is the biggest thief in history.

Also taking potshots at the PTI chief, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said Imran Khan had finally been proved to be a “foreign agent”.

“This foreign agent was launched to stop CPEC and the progress of Pakistan. This man who used to give sermons on liberating the nation from slavery, in fact, turned out to be a slave of foreign powers. He took money from these foreign powers to create anarchy in Pakistan,” Ms Nawaz said in a series of tweets.

She said Mr Khan’s narrative of honesty and self-respect had been fully exposed. “The anti-Nawaz Sharif narrative was based on blatant lies & conspiracies but IK is guilty of startling, mind-boggling wrongdoings the evidence of which is irrefutable.”

Recently ousted Punjab chief minister and the prime minister’ son, Hamza Shehbaz, said the ECP verdict had exposed the alleged foreign conspiracy against Imran Khan. “Taking money from citizens and companies of countries like the US and India, Imran Khan created anarchy in his own country,” he said, adding the “judicial Sadiq and Amin” had been declared a “proven liar and money launderer”.

Speaking at a press conference here, PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry demanded a lifetime ban and imprisonment for Mr Khan.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said a “thief, liar involved in foreign funding and money laundering” has finally been caught after eight years. In a statement, she demanded Mr Khan resign from the party chairman post immediately.

Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri of the PPP, which is an ally of the PML-N in the ruling coalition in the Centre, stated legal action would be pursued after the ECP proved financial crimes committed by the PTI.

Addressing a news conference along with party leader Faisal Karim Kundi, the minister said Mr Khan, anticipating a decision against him, had already started blaming other parties for receiving foreign funding. “The PTI must come forward with proof if the PPP or PML-N has received foreign funding.”

The PTI chief submitted false affidavits before the ECP and delayed the decision for eight years through writ petitions, she remarked. “Now a legal process will be followed in light of this decision,” Ms Marri declared.

Pakistan Democratic Movement head and chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, demanded the PTI be banned and Imran Khan disqualified.

In a press conference, he said: “The ECP decision has proven that Imran Khan has been working against the country’s interests and the PTI working against the country by using funds from foreign sources.”

Zulqernain Tahir also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022

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