ECP to take up PTI foreign funding case on Oct 1


–PML-N says Imran wants to appoint ECP members of own choice to evade case


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday issued a notice to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in a case pertaining to foreign funding as it resumed proceedings against the ruling party.

The ECP directed its counsel to appear before the special committee constituted for the scrutiny of foreign funding of PTI on Oct 1.

The case was first filed in November 2014 by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar accusing the PTI and its leadership of corruption and illegal funding of the party.

For over a year, the proceedings of the case were delayed in the ECP as the PTI had filed a writ petition in October 2015 in the Islamabad High Court seeking to restrain the ECP scrutiny of its accounts.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) asked the election watchdog to urgently pursue cases of money laundering against the ruling party that was done via “18 fake accounts”.

The PML-N suspects that Imran Khan is compromised because of being sponsored by anti-Pakistan lobbies through these accounts, said Ahsan Iqbal talking to mediapersons outside the Election Commission Office in Islamabad. He was flanked by Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb and Barrister Shahnawaz Ranjha.

He pointed out that the “so-called prime minister was trying to brush the PTI foreign funding case under the carpet”, adding that Imran pleaded the court for secrecy in the case, which was overruled.

“Now, he wants to plant hand-picked the chief election commissioner and members of ECP, in violation of Pakistan’s constitution, to influence the case proceedings in his favor,” he said, referring to a tussle between the government and the incumbent ECP chief Sardar Muhammad Raza.

Iqbal said: “The constitution of Pakistan clearly states that these positions cannot be appointed without meaningful consultation and agreement with the leader of the opposition, but the “PM didn’t try to talk to National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif over the issue even once”.

“Imran is risking a constitutional crisis in trying to achieve his goals,” he claimed.

The former minister questioned why a sitting lawmaker of India’s ruling party BJP among one of those who deposited money into these bank accounts.

He said Imran Khan boasts of being the cleanest and the most pious leader of Pakistan whereas he is the biggest money launderer in the history of the country.

He said PTI and its ring leader Imran Khan had not disclosed these 18 accounts as part of his campaign finance and continued to utilize the money in these accounts for his party and personal use.

He demanded an immediate, independent, transparent forensic audit of all these accounts and stressed that all these investigations must be made public so that the people of Pakistan can see the true face of Imran.




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