Govt considers placing PTI leaders on no-fly list, moving SC after ECP's prohibited funding ruling

Muhammad Anis
Mumtaz Alvi
Waqar Satti
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of coalition partners in Islamabad, on August 2, 2022. — Twitter/pmln_org
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of coalition partners in Islamabad, on August 2, 2022. — Twitter/pmln_org

  • Coalition partners agree on moving SC against PTI.
  • Decide to request CJP Bandial on forming full court.
  • Form two committees — political and legal.

ISLAMABAD: The coalition government has decided to request Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to constitute a full court to hear the reference it is going to file in the wake of the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) ruling on PTI's prohibited funding case as it also considered placing the name of the party's rulers on the Exit Control List (ECL).

ECP's three-member bench, in a unanimous ruling, said that the PTI received prohibited funding and decided to issue a show-cause notice to the party asking why its funds should not be confiscated.

In a meeting after the ruling, The News, quoting sources, reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting of coalition partners that decided to move the Supreme Court.

Sources said all the allies were unanimously on board for taking strict legal action in light of the ECP's verdict.

It was decided, according to sources, that CJP Bandial would be requested to constitute a full court to hear the case to be filed by the coalition government.

The sources said the meeting also discussed the possibility of placing PTI leaders’ names on the ECL to prevent them from leaving the country.

The coalition partners constituted a legal committee and political committee to follow up on the ECP verdict in both aspects.

The legal committee will complete all formalities to approach the SC, and before doing so, it will seek approval from the federal cabinet.

The legal committee, headed by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, will comprise Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, PPP leader Farooq H Naek and JUI-F's Kamran Murtaza.

Federal Minister Khursheed Shah will lead the political committee which consists of Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and federal ministers Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Naveed Qamar.

The two committees are likely to present their initial reports when the coalition partners meet on Wednesday (today) again.

The meeting also expressed shock over the crash of an army helicopter and offered Fateha for the departed souls. 

ECP's ruling

The ECP, in a unanimous verdict on the prohibited funding case, said that the PTI received foreign funds from 34 individuals and 351 businesses. The donations were sent from America, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.

The case was earlier referred to as the "foreign funding" case, but later the election commission accepted the PTI's plea to refer to it as the "prohibited funding" case.

In addition, PTI took funds from an American businessman, the ECP said, issuing a show-cause notice to the party. 

Thirteen unknown accounts have also come to light, said the commission in the verdict, adding that hiding accounts are a "violation" of Article 17 of the Constitution.

Article 17 (2) of the Constitution states: " shall provide that where the Federal Government declares that any political party has been formed or is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, the Federal Government shall, within fifteen days of such declaration, refer the matter to the Supreme Court whose decision on such reference shall be final."

Article 17 (3) states: "Every political party shall account for the source of its funds in accordance with the law."

The funds were also in violation of Article 6 of the Political Parties Act.

Moreover, the ECP 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 to explain why their prohibited funds should not be confiscated.

The election commission office should also start the rest of the process according to the law, the ECP ruled.