Imran says ECP being used to control masses

Former PM insists receiving funds abroad in 2012 was not illegal as the legal bar in Pakistan came in 2017

Our Correspondent August 04, 2022
Former PM Imran Khan is addressing supporters via video link. SCREENGRAB


Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday the ruling alliance after failing in all its attempts to control the “people of Pakistan” was now trying to steal the public mandate through the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Addressing the protesters gathered outside the ECP offices in various cities via video link, the former prime minister alleged that the polls supervisor was a major hurdle in achieving “real freedom” through strong democracy.

“They [the incumbent government] bought the loyalties of our people then they used money in an attempt to break our party and after suffering a shock defeat in Punjab by-elections despite rigging attempts, they are now trying to control the people through the ECP,” he said.

Imran said the electoral body went beyond its limits and met a PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] delegation wherein the ruling alliance leaders urged the ECP to announce the verdict in the PTI prohibited funding case at the earliest.

He claimed that after realising that the government could not silence the people through intimidation they were now trying to control them through the ECP by manipulating the elections.

“I introduced the EVMs [electronic voting machines] so that secret hands could not rig the elections,” he said, adding that as many as 163 ways to rig the elections could be eliminated by using the EVMs.

“The ECP in cahoots with the government sabotaged our plan to introduce the EVMs. They wanted to control the people of Pakistan. It means you cannot elect or topple any government through your votes,” the PTI chairman said.

Without naming anyone, Imran said some powers in the country wanted to control the country by manipulating elections and for this reason all his attempts to stop rigging and horse-trading in the polls were “sabotaged” by the ECP. “I demanded a show of hand vote in the Senate.”

Commenting on the ECP verdict in the prohibited funding case, the PTI chief said that receiving funds from overseas Pakistanis was not foreign funding. “Funds from foreign countries or companies which can influence your policies is the foreign funding,” he added.

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He stressed that his party did not commit any wrongdoing by raising funds from overseas Pakistanis. He added that the ECP “wrongly” termed donations from expatriates as foreign funding.

In an apparent reference to the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Imran alleged that “two mafias” used ill-gotten money to fund their political campaigns “because no one would donate them money for political purposes”.

“The PTI is the first party in the country which collected money through political fundraising,” Imran said. He explained that his party established a company in the US because it was illegal in America to raise funds without a limited liability company (LLC).

The former prime minister further explained that the law, which barred parties from receiving funds from companies, was enacted in 2017, whereas the PTI received funds in 2012, hence “no illegality was committed”.

Referring to a report in the London-based Financial Times newspaper, the PTI chief said that his party had received money in 2012 from two fundraising dinners that Arif Naqvi had organised. He added that the businessman was charged with fraud in 2018

Imran stressed that there was nothing wrong with the PTI receiving money from a foreign company of Naqvi in 2012 since it was still allowed at the time. He questioned how he could have known in 2012 about the situation emerging six years later. He also refuted claims that he had signed an affidavit, claiming that it was a certificate.




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