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January 18, 2021

PML-N, PPP to appear in ECP today

Top Story

January 18, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government said on Sunday that the appearance of the PML-N and PPP before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) today (Monday) and protest tomorrow (Tuesday) is a crude attempt to threaten the electoral body.

Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz said those who tried to trap the PTI in the foreign funding case were themselves trapped and now the PML-N and PPP had to explain where they’d got the funds from.

Speaking at a news conference here with Parliamentary Secretary Farrukh Habib ahead of the PDM’s planned protest in front of the Election Commission Secretariat, he said instead of sharing the funding details with the ECP scrutiny committee, the two opposition parties wanted to tell it to the institutions. He said the topic discussed at television shows nowadays was that ‘once there was a PDM’.

“Everyone knows about the opposition political parties and why they are united under one umbrella. The reason is that they have changed laws in their governments. The PDM's journey was based on threats but it was not well received by the people and now there are programmes on it on the TV,” he maintained.

The minister pointed out that the PDM’s main parties had played all their cards but all failed, bringing embarrassment to them.

“Now the last card they are playing is to lie so much that it will be taken as the truth,” he said. Referring to the PDM’s planned protest, he said it was a crude attempt, as Maulana Fazlur Rehman, after receiving a notice from the NAB, had said he would protest there (at the NAB)

along with the entire party, which clearly meant he’d no answers and just wanted to intimidate the institutions. The minister asserted that the planned protest was a desperate attempt to make people believe in their failed narrative and mislead them.

Shibli said both the parties (PML-N and PPP) had appointed their cronies in national institutions, who used to protect their interests at the cost of national interest. Farrukh Habib alleged that the PPP and PML-N wanted to pocket the cup of a match, which they had not even played, indirectly referring to the ongoing PTI foreign funding case.

He claimed that the party funding case against the PPP and PML-N was an open and shut case, as there was absolutely no confusion about that. Under the relevant laws, he noted all political parties were required to submit the details of their funding to the ECP on the basis of scrutiny after which symbols were allotted.

“Don’t show Qatari letters. Come up with the factual sources of funding through hundi, hawala or you were part of money laundering and receiving funds from foreign nationals,” he contended, and challenged them to share details with the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmad convened a meeting to discuss strategy for dealing with the protest of PDM outside the ECP head office. The PDM is all set to stage a protest outside the ECP tomorrow. To that end, the Islamabad Police have devised a security plan to ward off any untoward incidents.

According to police, the senior superintendent of police (SSP) operations will be supervising the security arrangements and more than 1,800 personnel will be deployed in the city for the purpose.

The steering committee of the PDM will also meet at the residence of the Alliance Chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman at his residence today (Monday). Members of the steering committee have been directed to ensure their presence in the meeting.

Meanwhile, the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that whosoever threatens Prime Minister Imran Khan eventually lands in a lock-up, adding that this will not last long.

Talking to the media outside the Accountability Court in Lahore, Maryam Nawaz said this was not the accountability of the opposition leaders but a political witch hunt. She however expressed hope that the courts would one day acquit her and other opposition leaders in these cases.

Maryam further said that the Broadsheet episode had exposed the government’s bad intentions. She hoped that PML-N would win the upcoming by-elections. She accused the authorities of pressuring Shahbaz Sharif to abandon his brother Nawaz Sharif. “But when he refused, he was thrown into jail,” she alleged.

The PML-N Secretary information Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the people of Pakistan have decided to reclaim their country from the “imposed selected government” and will march by the thousands towards the Election Commission to demand written decision against the PTI over confessed illegal foreign funding.

At a press conference in Rawalpindi, Marriyum said Pakistanis have been crushed under the avalanche of incompetence, corruption, theft and ineptitude of this illegal government, but now they had enough and have decided to stand up. She said the people of Pakistan will knock at the door of ECP on to demand a written decision.