Islamabad [Pakistan], April 28 (ANI): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) plea seeking a joint investigation in foreign funding cases against all political parties, reported local media.
Notably, PTI had filed a petition in Islamabad High Court against the alleged bias of the ECP in the prohibited funding case, seeking the scrutiny of all political parties.
However, the plea was rejected by a three-member bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja during a hearing of the PTI foreign funding case, reported the Dawn newspaper.
Earlier on April 19, the PTI had sought three days from April 27 to 29 to conclude its arguments. However, instead of continuing with his arguments on Wednesday, PTI’s lawyer cited an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order relaxing the 30-day deadline set to decide the foreign funding case and asked the ECP to carry out scrutiny of all parties without any discrimination.
The PTI lawyer claimed that the IHC order directed simultaneous investigation of all foreign funding cases but CEC said that the IHC order made no such determination, adding that the PTI’s foreign funding case demanded an early conclusion as it had already been delayed for almost eight years.
Noting that the hearings on other cases were in progress, he added that a detailed report would be presented before the court on May 17, according to the media outlet.
However, even after assurance from the ECP that the foreign funding cases against PML-N and PPP were also being heard separately, the PTI lawyer refused to present his arguments, insisting the commission should first bring other cases on a par with the PTI case and demanded a level playing field.
Notably, the PTI has made 17 political parties respondents in the petition along with the election commission. These parties included the PML-N, PPP, MQM, Jamaat Islami, Awami Muslim League, Tehreek-e-Labbaik, BAP, BNP, ANP and others, as reported by ARY News.
The foreign funding case against PTI is pending since November 14, 2014, and it was filed by the party’s founding member Akbar S Babar who had alleged that there are some financial irregularities in the PTI’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.
On January 4 this year, the ECP’s scrutiny committee submitted its report on the PTI’s foreign funding case after 95 hearings. The ECP’s committee was formed in March 2018.
The report was based on eight volumes of records collected through the State Bank of Pakistan, proved that the PTI leaders had committed the violations of funding laws by allowing the collection of millions of dollars and billions of Pakistani Rupees without any source and details from foreigners, as per reported by Dawn. (ANI)