Foreign funding: PTI attorney granted time for consultation

PML-N counsel says PTI received $2.3 million between 2010 and 2013


Our Correspondent May 12, 2017
PTI chief Imran Khan. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has granted 11-day time to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) counsel to consult his party leadership about the apex court’s suggestion to refer the foreign funding case to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for adjudication.

Referring to the apex court’s April 20 verdict whereby a joint investigation team was formed to probe offshore businesses of the Sharif family, the court on Wednesday remarked that foreign funding matter could similarly be referred to the ECP to know if the PTI received funds through prohibited sources.

Imran’s PTI is hit with double whammy

During the course of hearing on Thursday, the PTI’s counsel Anwar Mansoor requested the top court to allow him time for consulting the PTI leadership, including its chairman, Imran Khan, in this regard.

“According to my interpretation, Article 6(2) of Political Parties Order [PPO] 2002 relates to money received in Pakistan domestically except for the money received from foreign government, which is distinct from Articles 2, 3 and 15 of PPO read with Article 17(2) of Constitution.

“The penalty and jurisdiction provided in both are different and distinct and do not overlap. The allegations levelled in the petition are regarding foreign funding, which according to me is not the domain of the Election Commission,” Mansoor said.

He said in the present case, the federal government was the only authority to look into the matter of foreign funding. However, he requested the court to give some time for consultation with the party’s leadership.

Accepting his plea, the apex court’s three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, adjourned the hearing of the case till May 23.

The bench is hearing a plea of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi who seeks disqualification of the PTI chief for “giving false declaration that the party did not receive funds from a prohibited source”.

SC allows PTI counsel to consult party leadership for transfer of foreign funding case to ECP

Earlier, the PML-N’s counsel Akram Sheikh argued that between 2010 and 2013, the PTI received $2.3 million foreign funding. “This is prohibited under the PPO 2002 and Article 17 of the Constitution,” he said. Sheikh also submitted list of all the contributors, many of which were foreign nationals.

In response to the petitioner’s allegations, the PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor called the foreign funding an ‘issue of the past’ and a ‘closed transaction’ and insisted that the matter could not be reopened. “The ECP did not object to the party’s audit report and allotted it the election symbol,” he said.

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