Foreign funds: ECP reserves judgment as PTI files fresh reply

  • Posted at: 16 Aug, 2017, in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) resumed hearing into a case pertaining to the foreign funding of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), local channel reported Wednesday.In today’s proceeding, PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor filed a fresh reply of PTI and gave arguments before the commission.He suggested that the case is sub-judice in Supreme Court and ECP is a party in the case; therefore, the commission should not give its judgment and stop proceedings.At which, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Raza Khan, who is head of a five-member bench, said the lawyer should file a separate application in the Supreme Court, if he wanted the commission to stop proceedings.After hearing Anwar Mansoor’s arguments, the commission reserved its ruling. It can be announced later today.BackgroundIn the previous hearing last month, the commission had ordered PTI counsel Babar Awan to file the reply; otherwise a decision would be issued.ECP has been hearing the case since 2014 on the petition of Akbar S. Babar, who accuses the party of embezzlement in funds.According to the ECP, the decision delayed in the case because of PTI’s strategy, which first raised objection to the jurisdiction of the commission and then challenged its powers in the Islamabad High Court twice.The ECP, in its detailed judgment on the question of jurisdiction, had rejected PTI’s argument that audit reports of the party were already accepted by the commission as it was a “past and closed transaction.”Supreme Court’s hearingA similar is also being heard by the Supreme Court on the petition of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi. He has sought disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Secretary General Jehangir Tareen on non-declaration of their offshore companies in nomination papers and running party affairs through foreign funding.However, filing a 700-page reply to the apex court, PTI has rejected the allegations.In the reply, PTI states that its leaders collected funds from people with dual citizenship, adding that funds were received by agent company, and not through any illegal or foreign firm. – local channel