Tuesday Aug 02, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The PTI on Tuesday rejected the ruling of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the party received prohibited funding.
The ECP, in a unanimous verdict, said the commission found that 34 foreign donations were taken in fundraising. The donations were taken from America, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.
In addition, PTI took funds from an American businessman, the ECP said.
Unknown accounts have also come to light, said the commission in its verdict, adding that hiding accounts are a "violation" of Article 17 of the Constitution.
The ECP also found that PTI Chairman Imran Khan submitted a false Nomination Form I and that the affidavit provided regarding party accounts was false.
The ECP has issued a show-cause notice to PTI.
In a press conference following the verdict, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said overseas Pakistanis raised funds for the PTI and the ECP had acknowledged their narrative that it does not come under “foreign funding”.
In the next phase, the PTI will prove that the 16 accounts are legal, adding that these accounts are “subsidiary accounts,” Chaudhry said.
“No party has the right to hide its funding from the people,” the PTI leader.
He demanded of the election body to announce its verdict in the funding case against PPP and PML-N after the PTI.
In a tweet later, the PTI leader said that since the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and ECP members have "weak" legal backgrounds, they failed to "differentiate between an affidavit and certificate".
"Imran Khan submitted certificate on audited accounts, this is not a case of misdeclaration," the former information and law minister said.
Speaking during the press conference before Chaudhry, PTI Central Deputy Secretary Information Farrukh Habib said that foreign funding was "not proved against the party".
"The verdict disappointed those who were pushing the narrative of foreign funding against the PTI," said Habib.
He said that the PTI was of the view from day one that the case was related to prohibited funding and not foreign funding.
Raising questions over the ECP, the PTI leader said that the IHC had ordered a probe into the accounts of all the political parties without any discrimination.
He said that the scrutiny committee tasked to probe the accounts of PTI completed its work on time but the committees established to check the accounts of PPP and PML were yet to submit their report.
Speaking to Geo News, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed said that today's decision would not lead to a crisis that would not be manageable.
"The law should be the same for all parties," the former interior minister, a staunch ally of Khan, said while terming the Constitution of Pakistan "a nose of wax".
The AML chief, stressing that no major political turn will occur as a result of the order, said that no matter what the government tries to do, it will not be able to harm the PTI chairman.
Turning his guns on the government's major players, Rasheed said he was "ready to say this on oath" that parties received funding from slain terrorist "Osama Bin Laden".
He then sought Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja's voluntary resignation — a demand that the PTI and its allies have been making for months now.