PTI moves IHC against funding case verdict

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday challenged the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the prohibited funding case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Omar Ayub Khan, additional secretary general of the party, challenged the verdict, pleading with the court to strike down the verdict.

ECP has been made respondent in the case.

Former Minister for Planning Asad Umar had said that there is no threat to Khan’s politics. The Election Commission of Pakistan has violated the Supreme Court’s verdict because the commission mentioned PTI Chief Imran Khan’s false affidavit.

“The Political Parties Act, 2002, mentions a certificate and not an affidavit,” he said.

“Bilawal himself said that Nawaz Sharif had taken money to overthrow the government. The economy of the country is standing only because of the remittance of money from overseas, the Election Commission has become a biased and political opponent,” he added.

On August 2, ECP, in its unanimous verdict, ruled that the party received funds from 351 businesses including business tycoon Arif Naqvi and from 34 foreign nationals. The donations were sent from America, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.

The ECP observed the “unknown accounts” and said that hiding accounts are a “violation of the Constitution”.

The ECP bench in its reserved verdict said prohibited funding against PTI had been proven.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, comprising Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi announced the reserved verdict.

Moreover, it found that PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan submitted a false nomination form.

The ECP decided to issue a show-cause notice to the PTI to explain why the commission should not seize the funds it received.

Notably, Akbar S Babar, the man who blew the lid off the scam involving the inflow of dubious funds into PTI formally approached the FIA to initiate a probe against the party.

Babar told the FIA that the PTI’s financial board 2011 illegally authorised four employees of the party’s central secretariat to collect donations in their personal accounts from within Pakistan and abroad.

Following this, the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan constituted a six-member team to probe the matter.

The FIA has summoned 10 leaders of PTI including former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Mian Mahmood-ur-Rashid, former MPA Seema Zia and others to address questions during the probe.

The probe agency has also identified four employees of the PTI secretariat, whose personal and salary accounts were used for receiving foreign funding. The agency said funds were received in the bank accounts of Muhammad Arshad, Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Rafique, and Nauman Afzal. In the statements, the PTI employees said that they used to give the money received in their accounts to PTI’s finance manager, according to a report in a local Pakistan newspaper.

They said they would give signed blank cheques to the finance manager. According to a report, the FIA came to know during the investigation that besides other accounts, foreign funding was also received in employees’ salary accounts.

Qaiser is expected to record his statement on August 11 at 2 pm, while Imran Ismail and Seema Zia have been asked to appear before the agency on August 12 and 15 respectively.


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