Islamabad : Pakistan’s Opposition parties on Thursday, urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to adjudicate upon the foreign funding case against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) without any further delay alleging that Imran Khan’s party was using delaying tactics to avoid the case, a media report said.
The ECP heard the case on no less than 75 occasions and passed at least 21 orders directing the PTI to file documents and financial records, but there had been no response so far. The PTI sought written and/or oral adjournment on various pretexts to delay the case, The News International reported.
A delegation of the joint opposition comprising representatives from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) among other parties called on Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and submitted a letter demanding early conclusion of the foreign funding case pending since November 14, 2014, the report said.
The opposition’s letter says there is no doubt that the PTI’s delaying tactics are meant to delay the final verdict, which is imminent, including that from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Now there is no moral or legal reason left to further delay the case.
On January 4 this year, the ECP’s scrutiny committee, formed in March 2018 to examine the PTI’s foreign funding in one month, finally submitted its report after 95 hearings and nearly four years, the report said.
The report, based on eight volumes of record requisitioned through the SBP, proves that the PTI leadership had committed gross violations of funding laws by allowing the collection of millions of dollars and billions of rupees without any source and details from foreigners, including Indian nationals and foreign companies, the report further said.
The letter demands that the foreign funding case be concluded on March 15 and, if at all needed, the case be heard on a daily basis to ensure final judgement as soon as possible.
Speaking on the occasion, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal alleged that the PTI and its chairman Imran Khan had committed the biggest political fraud in the form of foreign funding, the report said.
Last month, it was reported how overseas members of the Imran Khan-led PTI have allegedly paid their annual party membership fee through stolen credit cards.
The report had further asserted that the receipts of payments clearly reflected a sham payment method, as in some cases only a single person paid the membership fee on behalf of more than 70 workers. However, instead of raising any objection to such dubious transactions, the party’s finance department not only accepted the payment but issued them the party’s Member Coordinator numbers.
The developments come at a time when Imran Khan is facing immense opposition in the country over his misgovernance. The principal Opposition parties in Pakistan have come together to bring a no-confidence motion in Pakistan’s National Assembly, to oust Khan.