ECP rejects PTI plea seeking exclusion of Akbar from case

We expect that parties will assist Commission in proper way and avoid prolonging proceedings

ISLAMABAD   -   The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected the two PTI applications seeking exclusion of petitioner Akbar S Babar from the case.

The applications also demanded that all records of the case including the documents requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan should not be shared with the petitioner and PTI founding member Akbar S Babar who had filed the case in November 2014. On Tuesday, when the hearing resumed, PTI once again filed an adjournment motion on the grounds that its senior lawyers were busy in higher courts.

The adjournment motion was turned down and the order dismissing the two PTI applications was announced. In the order, the Commission stated that it had observed that the issues which had already been decided through series of litigation were being raised over and over again unnecessarily which if continued would never end the litigation. “Therefore, we expect that the parties would assist the Commission in proper way and avoid prolonging the proceedings enabling the Commission to conclude the same within the shortest possible time,” said the Commission.

Later the ECP directed the petitioner’s counsel Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah assisted by Badar Iqbal Chaudhry to start arguing the merits of the case in the light of the Scrutiny Committee Report. Shah briefed the Commission on the existing laws that only permit an individual Pakistani to donate to a political party. He said the law only allows a registered political party in Pakistan to operate at the national, provincial and local levels. Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah stated that it is important to understand the context of the Scrutiny Committee Report before discussing the facts of prohibited and foreign funding that have come to light.

He said the Scrutiny Committee developed an 11-point ‘document scrutiny criterion’ which was kept secret thus violating the number one criteria of the Scrutiny Committee’s Terms of Reference. He said at least USD 7.3 million and PKR 853 million have been received from prohibited and foreign sources that includes foreign companies and foreign individuals. He said the Scrutiny Committee verified the petitioner’s allegation of transfer of over three million dollars remitted in PTI Bank Accounts through two US Companies (PTI LLC – 5975 & PTI LLC – 6160) registered in the US under the authorisation of the PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Talking to the media outside the ECP, the petitioner and PTI founding member Akbar S Babar demanded that PM Imran Khan should resign as he submitted fake and false certificates before the ECP.

Furthermore, he said the Scrutiny Committee had substantiated his allegations of massive illegal funding of PTI including that from Indian Citizens and offshore companies.

He said this is unacceptable as foreigners funding a political party raise serious questions.

He said on March 15, a PTI overseas delegation while addressing the media has claimed that they had donated billions of Euros to PTI. Babar asked where the money was as there was no evidence of it in records before the ECP.

Babar said the PTI should hold more overseas conventions which is the only way of revealing the real situation in Pakistan for all those good intentioned overseas Pakistan who under the influence of PTI’s hollow propaganda that Pakistan is going through real and positive change.

The writer is member of staff and can be reached at @8mansoor_ali

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