ECP re­jects PTI’s ap­peal to halt for­eign fund­ing case pro­ceed­ings

The Miracle - - Editorial Views -

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan (ECP) has re­jected Pak­istan Tehreek-i-In­saf’s (PTI) ap­peal to halt the elec­tion body’s pro­ceed­ings on the for­eign fund­ing case, is­su­ing the party yet another “last chance” to sub­mit its full fi­nan­cial records — this time by Septem­ber 7. Fol­low­ing the ini­tial ar­gu­ments on Wed­nes­day, the elec­tion body had re­served its judge­ment on the ap­peal. PTI’s lawyer An­war Man­soor had asked the ECP to stop the pro­ceed­ings in the for­eign fund­ing case as a sim­i­lar case is also be­ing heard at the Supreme Court against his client. Man­soor, on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, submitted his client’s re­ply be­fore the five-mem­ber tri­bunal of the ECP, chaired by the chief elec­tion com­mis­sioner, which has been hear­ing a pe­ti­tion filed by Ak­bar S. Babar — a for­mer PTI mem­ber. Babar’s pe­ti­tion also seeks party chair­man Im­ran Khan’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion on the charges of col­lect­ing party funds from “pro­hib­ited” sources. The submitted re­ply, how­ever, did not con­tain any de­tails of the party’s funds. When the pe­ti­tioner’s lawyer, Ahmed Has­san, pointed out that the de­tails sought by the ECP were miss­ing from the re­sponse, Man­soor told the court that the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments had al­ready been filed with the Supreme Court, adding that the ECP is a party to the case that is on­go­ing in the apex court. Man­soor told the ECP tri­bunal that the SC had not asked for the party’s en­tire fund­ing history. “Per­haps there is an el­e­ment of prej­u­dice in some cor­ner of the ECP,” the lawyer al­leged. Dis­miss­ing his claims, the com­mis­sioner said that seek­ing de­tails does not mean that prej­u­dice ex­ists. “As a party to the SC case, the ECP should not pro­ceed with hear­ings on this case,” Man­soor main­tained. The com­mis­sioner told the lawyer that it would have been bet­ter if he ap­proached the SC with a re­quest to halt the ECP pro­ceed­ings.The pe­ti­tioner’s lawyer, how­ever, ar­gued that the na­ture of the case be­ing heard in the apex court was dif­fer­ent from that of the ECP case. Has­san added that if the PTI submitted the de­tails of its funds, it would be­come clear if they were re­ceived from pro­hib­ited sources or not. He asked the ECP not to hear PTI’s re­quest, claim­ing that it was an at­tempt to avoid fur­nish­ing the fi­nan­cial de­tails. “The PTI has been asked to sub­mit the de­tails 21 times,” he said. In May this year, the ECP had given the PTI another chance to pro­duce its fi­nan­cial records in the for­eign fund­ing case — de­spite is­su­ing the same di­rec­tives twice be­fore.

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