ECP to hear foreign funding case before Eid holidays

Hearings will be held from April 27-29; PTI to hold protest on 26th

Saqib Virk April 25, 2022
ECP to hear foreign funding case before Eid holidays


A three-member bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, will hear the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on a daily basis from April 27 to April 29.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed the ECP to announce a verdict in the funding case in May. In compliance with the order, the ECP had fixed the case for hearing on April 27, 28 and 29 – ahead of the Eidul Fitr holidays.

It is expected that Anwar Mansoor, the lawyer for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), would give his arguments on the scrutiny committee report. The ECP’s scrutiny committee submitted its report on January 4, after conducting 95 hearings in nearly four years.

The report had disclosed that the PTI leadership had committed gross violations of funding laws by allowing collection of millions of dollars and billions of rupees without any source and details from foreigners, including Indian nationals and foreign companies.

The PTI, which has accused the ECP of bias, has announced protests outside the ECP offices across the country on April 26. Last week, the party moved the IHC against the ECP and 17 political parties.

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

Read More: ECP is 'incomplete', objects PTI lawyer

On Saturday, PTI lawyers Anwar Mansoor Khan and Shah Khawar filed a petition in the IHC, requesting the court to issue directives to the election supervisor to adjudicate upon the cases against other political parties within a month – a timeframe the IHC had set for the disposal of the PTI case.

The parties include Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Jamiat Ulema-e-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 alleged that the ECP’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.

Earlier this month, IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani ordered the ECP to decide the foreign funding case within the next 30 days. Justice Kayani rejected a request to prevent giving access of the case's record to Akbar S Babar and a request to remove him from the case proceedings.



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