PTI moves IHC against ECP’s ‘bias’ in foreign funding case

Prays court to order ECP to decide case against 17 other political parties in 30 days too


Our Correspondent April 23, 2022
PHOTO: EXPRESS

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ISLAMABAD:

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday against the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) alleged bias in the foreign funding case.
PTI’s Amir Kayani, through lawyers Anwar Mansoor Khan and Shah Khawar, filed the petition. The petition names the ECP and 17 political parties as respondents in the case.

The parties include the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Awami Muslim League (AML), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Awami National Party (ANP).

The petition called on the court to also issue directives to the ECP to adjudicate upon the cases against other political parties within a month – a timeframe it had set for the ECP to dispose of the PTI’s case.

“It should be ordered that the State Bank of Pakistan investigate the accounts of all political parties and make the details of the findings public.”

Read PTI challenges IHC order on foreign funding case

The petition charged that the electoral watchdog’s behaviour was biased against the PTI, citing that the commission had refused to scrutinise the accounts related to the other political parties, in contrast to how it proceeded against the PTI accounts.

Therefore, the PTI has become the [only] affected party, it added. “The Election Commission of Pakistan should also be ordered to scrutinize the accounts of 17 political parties,” the petition prayed.
The IHC, earlier this month, ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide the foreign funding case within the next 30 days.

A written order, IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani rejected a request to prevent giving access to the case's record to PTI founding member Akbar S Babar and a request to remove him from the case proceedings.

On January 4, the ECP’s scrutiny committee submitted its report after 95 hearings and nearly four years.
The report disclosed that the PTI leadership had committed gross violations of funding laws by allowing the collection of millions of dollars and billions of rupees without any source and details from foreigners, including Indian nationals and foreign companies.

The PTI foreign funding case is pending since November 14, 2014. The case was filed by PTI dissident Akbar Babar who had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.

 

 

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