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Sunday September 25, 2022

‘PTI foreign funding case’: PM Shahbaz Sharif urges ECP to announce verdict

For long has Imran Niazi been given a free pass despite his repeated and shameless attacks on state institutions, says PM

By Web Desk
July 19, 2022
Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif addresses the nation in this file photo. -PID
Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif addresses the nation in this file photo. -PID 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif Tuesday appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce the “long-delayed” judgement on the PTI foreign funding case amid Imran Khan’s repeated allegations against the chief election commissioner.

The premier took to Twitter today, urging the Election Commission to give the verdict in the case which was reserved on June 21, after a year-long hearing.

“I urge the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce the long-delayed judgment on PTI foreign funding case,” PM Shahbaz Sharif tweeted in response to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s attacks on CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The prime minister said that for long has Imran Niazi been given a free pass despite his repeated and shameless attacks on state institutions.

“Impunity given to him has hurt the country.”

The prime minister demanded the early announcement of the verdict a day after Imran Khan again demanded the resignation of the CEC despite a landslide victory in the Punjab by-polls where no allegations of rigging were levelled by his party.

Delivering a speech on video-link following a core committee meeting in Islamabad on Monday, Imran said, “We have no confidence in this Chief Election Commissioner, he should resign. He conducted the Senate election, the Supreme Court allowed him to verify the Senate vote, the Election Commission and all political parties know that money runs in the secret Senate polls but this Election Commissioner did not follow it.”

He continued that an unprecedented amount of money was used in the last Senate elections while Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son was caught bribing, the same Election Commissioner investigated it and it has been a year since no action has been taken so far.

“The biggest regret I have in the Punjab by-elections is on the Chief Election Commissioner as he has done dishonesty, there is no merit in him, it was found that typing mistake took place and 4 million people were shown dead. Had this had happened elsewhere in the world, he would have resigned. We had eight cases with which we went to the Election Commission and it rejected them while the courts gave verdicts against it, which means the ECP deliberately gave decisions against us,” he had claimed.

Prohibited funding case

The prohibited funding case was filed by the PTI’s founding member Akbar S Babar in November 2014, who had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party's funding from Pakistan and abroad.

However, the party has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that the funding is not from prohibited sources.

A report of an ECP scrutiny committee probing the party’s funds revealed on January 4 that PTI hid funds worth millions of rupees from the commission.

The report stated that the PTI provided “false information” regarding the party’s funding to the ECP. It said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP’s) bank statement revealed that the party had received Rs1.64 billion in funding.

According to the report, the party did not disclose funding worth more than Rs310 million to the ECP. The scrutiny committee was formed in 2019 to audit foreign funding received by the PTI.