Govt, PML-N trade blows over foreign funding case

Published: November 21, 2019
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ISLAMABAD: In the wake of the election commission ordering day-to-day hearing of the PTI foreign funding case, the PML-N on Thursday claimed that foreign elements funded the ruling party to help it come to power so that it could ravage the country’s economy while the government lashed out at the opposition for “coercing” the poll supervisory body into accepting its demand.

“The nation wants to know who funded you [PTI] from India, Europe, the US and the Middle East,” PML-N General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal said at a news conference.

“We suspect that anti-Pakistan lobbies funded the PTI. They helped [Prime Minister] Imran Khan come to power and tasked him with destroying the country’s economy,” he added.

The PML-N leader also claimed that Scotland Yard was investigating into the PTI foreign funding case.

“The PTI did not declare its 23 bank accounts in the details submitted to the ECP. The State Bank also confirmed that the accounts were being operated by the party’s leaders.”

Iqbal further claimed that the PTI had received millions of dollars in donations from overseas Pakistanis and embezzled their hard-earned money using their personal accounts.

Responding to the premier’s statement that the PTI had nothing to worry about, the PML-N leader said: “Then why did they [PTI] use delaying tactics for the last five years and tried to keep the proceedings of the case confidential?”.

Iqbal said his party wanted an open trial of the case and media should not be barred from the covering its proceedings.

“One [Imran Khan] who considers himself the benchmark of honesty wants to keep the proceedings of the [foreign funding] case confidential. This indicates that there is something seriously wrong.”

Whereas the opposition has turned the matter of foreign funding into its new rallying, the government hit back by saying that the ECP was taken “hostage” and forced to hold daily hearings of the case.

“We condemn the reprehensible act of the [joint opposition’s] Rahbar Committee of taking the ECP hostage and influencing it,” PM’s aide on information Firdous Ashiq Awan tweeted.

“The Rahbar Committee itself needs guidance,” she took a jibe at the opposition as Rahbar means a ‘guide’ in Urdu. “They are just putting on a flop film show. Unlike them, we won’t try to find a way out of the accountability process.”

A day earlier, the election commission accepted the opposition’s plea for daily hearings of the foreign funding case against the PTI.

A two-member bench presided the hearing of a memorandum submitted by members of the Rahbar Committee.

A copy of the application has also been forwarded to the chief election commissioner and various ECP members. Daily hearings of the case will commence from November 26.

The memorandum was submitted to the ECP after a meeting between JUI-F’s Akram Khan Durrani, Iqbal, PPP’s Nayyar Bukhari and Farhatullah Babar, ANP’s Mian Iftikhar, PkMAP’s Usman Khan Kakar, and Tahir Bizenjo of the National Party.

 

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