ECP Issued show cause notice to PTI in Foreign funding case as PTI Received funding from prohibited Sources
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ), in a unanimous verdict of the PTI Foreign funding case on Tuesday, ruled that PTI received funding from prohibited sources while PTI Chairman Imran Khan submitted a false affidavit about the party’s accounts.
The ECP issued a notice to the PTI asking why the funds received from prohibited sources should not be confiscated.
The prohibited funding case, formerly known as the foreign funding case, finally pronounced after 8 years.
During the case, the jurisdiction of the Election Commission was not being recognized by the PTI, but later it was recognized on the order of the Supreme Court
PTI Foreign Funding Case History
We have to go back 11 years back to know the PTI Foreign Funding Case History.
Akbar S Babar, one of the founding members of PTI, had raised the issue of funds allegedly received by the party from prohibited sources in front of party chairman Imran Khan in 2011.
He demanded the formation of a committee under the PTI member Justice Retired Wajihauddin to look into the issue of funds received by the party from prohibited sources, but no action was taken by Imran Khan.
In 2014, Akbar S. Babar filed a petition against the PTI in the Election Commission regarding foreign funding.
Akbar S. Babar was heavily criticized within the party on this issue and at one point his basic membership was terminated, but Akbar S. Babar did not deviate from his position and continued to follow the case in the Election Commission.
The report submitted by petitioner Akbar S. Babar to the Election Commission said that between 2009 and 2013, PTI collected more than 7.3 million US dollars from 12 countries.
Millions of dollars have illegally flowed into PTI’s unaccounted for accounts, while the records provided to the Election Commission do not match the amount shown by the PTI to the Election Commission.
Akbar S. Babar claimed that PTI received funding from prohibited sources
In the petition, Akbar S. Babar had claimed that PTI had violated the Political Parties Order 2002 and therefore action should be taken against the party chairman Imran Khan and other leaders guilty of violations.
It should be noted that under the Political Parties Ordinance 2002, it is prohibited to receive funds from foreigners for political parties in Pakistan.
Under sub-section 3 of Section 204 of the Election Commission Act, 2017, funds directly or indirectly received by any political party from any foreign government, multinational or private company or individual are prohibited funds.
PTI continued to deny all the allegations made by Akbar S. Babar regarding foreign funding. The party leaders have maintained that this case has been made to defame the party at the behest of political opponents.
PTI filed an application in the Election Commission to stop the proceedings of the foreign funding case, which the Election Commission rejected the request to stop the hearing of the foreign funding case in August 2017 and gave a deadline of September 7 to submit the records.
PTI revealed eight of the total 26 accounts in various commercial banks and submitted their details to the Election Commission with the signatures of Imran Khan.
Out of the total 26 accounts, only 8 were disclosed while the remaining 18 accounts were said to be benami accounts in which funding from abroad continued to be deposited but no details were provided on where the funding was spent.
PTI approached the Islamabad High Court six times to stop the proceedings of the case and challenged the powers of the Election Commission in the petitions, while the PTI changed 9 lawyers during the hearing in the Election Commission.
ECP starts hearing of PTI foreign funding case on regular basis
The Election Commission established a scrutiny committee for the investigation in March 2018, which was given only one month’s time, but this committee worked at a very slow pace and submitted the investigation report to the commission in August 2020 after 96 meetings.
ECP rejected this report on which the committee submitted the final report in January 2022.
Election Commission of Pakistan decided to hold the PTI foreign funding case hearing on a daily basis on April 15.
In a statement issued in this regard, the Election Commission had said that yesterday (April 14), the Islamabad High Court had issued orders to the Election Commission to decide the case within a month and on a daily basis.
On April 24, Asad Umar challenged the single bench verdict of the Islamabad High Court on the foreign funding case and appealed to the court to stay the proceedings of the case.
PTI claimed that the focus in the foreign funding case is only on Tehreek-e-Insaaf while the funding cases of other political parties are also being heard in the Election Commission.