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Top Story

June 20, 2017



Contempt case: Imran fails to file reply with ECP

Lawyer says PTI chief to submit reply after returning from Karachi; electoral body asks Daniyal to furnish verified statement


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Monday yet again failed to file his reply with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the contempt case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar.

Imran’s lawyer informed the ECP that the reply could not be filed, as his client was unable to sign it for he was busy in Karachi. On previous occasion, the ECP bench was told that the reply was ready but was left back at Nathiagali, where Imran was staying.

The contempt proceedings started after Imran alleged in a review application filed on January 9, 2017 that the ECP was politically biased and in league with the petitioner for demanding submission and scrutiny of PTI accounts under the foreign funding case.

However, the ECP in its order of January 16, 2017, rejected PTI’s allegations of being biased and took strong exception to the use of ‘filthy and totally false’ remarks against a constitutional institution.

The order had stated, “No civilised person is expected to malign constitutional institutions in the manner in which it is so done.” The order had gone on to accept the PTI lawyer’s unconditional apology subsequently disowned by Imran Khan, however, initiated contempt proceedings as “there is no apology on behalf of respondent number 1 (Imran Khan)”.

The PTI lawyer took the plea that Imran’s reply was ready for his signatures but because of his busy schedule and visit to Karachi, he could not sign it. Upon this, the five-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Muhammad Raza Khan adjourned the hearing till July 4.

Talking to the media outside the ECP, after the hearing, Babar, whose PTI membership was recently validated by a full bench of ECP despite claims to the contrary by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, criticised him for toying with justice.

Babar pointed out Imran had enough time to address public meetings in different cities but could not find the time to respond to the call of justice. He said for almost two and a half years, Imran had refused to produce PTI’s financial accounts despite repeated orders of the ECP.

He said only the guilty shy away from accountability and justice and not those, who claimed to be honest. Babar criticised the recently concluded intra-party elections and termed it a farce and mockery even by Hosni Mubarak’s standards.

Babar termed the elections illegal, unconstitutional, and morally repugnant to the very concept of free and fair elections. He congratulated and thanked the PTI workers on boycotting the intra-party election on the call of the PTI Founders Group.

He said 90 percent of the PTI members had passed its no confidence against the leadership of Imran khan by boycotting the elections. This should be a wake up call for him to mend ways or else the disastrous writing is on the wall.

Babar condemned the recent induction of PPP leaders in the PTI. He said PTI was formed to cleanse the political system of crooked politicians. “How can the disease become its cure? By welcoming ‘political trash’ in the party, Imran has betrayed its very founding principles and transformed PTI into a party of turncoats,” he said.

He announced that the PTI (Founders Group) would challenge the forces of status quo in the coming elections by fielding educated, clean and dedicated PTI members as its candidates from Quetta to Peshawar. He said the hope of change could not be allowed to fade away as the future of the country depended on it. “Why should people be left to choose between evil and lesser evil?” he questioned.

The ECP also adjourned hearing in the contempt application, filed against PML-N MNA Daniyal Aziz by PTI, directing him to submit a verified reply by July 17. In his reply, Aziz contended that he had not committed contempt of the electoral body and insisted this also could not be proved on the basis of mere newspaper cuttings.

He charged that just for political point scoring, Imran had filed the application against him while he had been taking on all the state instututions and ridiculing them.

Meanwhile, Yusuf Ali, PTI Swabi former general secretary announced that the PTI workers would challenge the PTI intra-party election in the ECP, as it was against PTI’s constitution and violation of the right of PTI workers to elect its leadership.