Sunday Aug 07, 2022
In a rebuke of the Election Commission of Pakistan, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday asked in what capacity it is issuing a notice to party chairman Imran Khan.
The ECP on Friday issued a notice to the ousted prime minister, summoning him for a hearing in compliance with the body's judgment on the prohibited funding case.
According to the ECP website, a "Notice to Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in terms of Rule 6 of Political Parties Rule 2006, in compliance of judgment by the commission dated August 2 in case title Akbar Sher Babar" was issued. It has been fixed for a hearing at 10am on August 23.
The PTI leader's response to the notice came during a press conference in Islamabad.
Reacting to the ECP's ruling in the prohibited funding case against the party, whereby PTI was found to have obtained illegal funds, Chaudhry said that the party received Rs20 million in 13 accounts.
"This amount was released to party officials for office operations. In what capacity is the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) issuing notices to party leaders?" he asked. The FIA kickstarted its probe into the party's accounts on Saturday and summoned notices to various PTI leaders.
Speaking of another case fixed for hearing by the ECP, which pertains to the question of disqualification of Imran Khan, Chaudhry remarked: "Who has the guts to disqualify Imran Khan?"
"Do you want to create a one-party system in Pakistan?" he asked.
Chaudhry said that the party has made preparations for the "final stage" of its ongoing anti-government campaign. "A historic rally will be held on August 13," he said, adding: "We will not let them run away from [holding] elections."
Turning his guns on rival party PPP, he said that the PPP's "account auditors are nowhere to be found" and that it wasn't the PPP, but rather the PPP parliamentarians that fought the election.
He further said that instead of the party leader, it was the general secretary that submitted the certificate to declare expenses of Rs232 million.
"Money coming from America came directly to Zardari's account," he alleged.
"There is no proof of the LLC created by the PPP," he alleged further.
For the PML-N, he said, "there is no information at all regarding the sources of its funds".
The PTI leader recalled that the Islamabad High Court had directed the Election Commission to decide on the case of the funding of all parties, but it only issued a verdict on PTI's funding.
"According to the law, every political party has to be audited. One party cannot fund another party," he said.
Why is the Election Commission saving PML-N and PPP?" he demanded to know.
"It seems that the Election Commission does not care about its reputation," he said, adding that "the Election Commission did not have respect even earlier".
Earlier in the day, the PTI leader responded to remarks by Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah, saying that he is about as important as the Kohsar police station's SHO (Station House Officer) and that he should "speak according to his status".
He cautioned against the minister having to deal with more than he bargained for, without elaborating any further.
"It's better to be safe," he added.
Sanaullah had said that PTI is allowed to hold a rally in Islamabad's Parade Ground, "but PTI's rally will be [nothing more than] a political stunt".
"Imran Khan is organising rallies to divert attention from his [crimes]," the interior minister had said.