ECP rules PTI received prohibited funding, Imran submitted ‘false’ affidavit

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ISLAMABAD – Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday announced verdict in prohibited funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

ECP, in its unanimous verdict, ruled that the party received funds from business tycoon Arif Naqvi and from 34 foreign nationals. It went on to say that the party had taken ownership of eight accounts and kept 16 hidden.

Unknown accounts have also come to light, said the commission in its verdict, adding that hiding accounts is a “violation” of Article 17 of the Constitution.

The The electoral watchdog also decided to issue a show-cause notice to the PTI to explain why the commission should not seize the funds it received.

The commission also said that PTI chief Imran Khan had submitted a “misdeclaration” with the commission.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had reserved its verdict in prohibited funding case — previously referred to as the foreign funding case — after the conclusion of arguments from both sides of the case on June 21.

The case was filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar and was pending since November 14, 2014. Babar had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.

In March 2018, a scrutiny committee was constituted to examine the PTI s financing. The committee submitted its report on January 4, after 95 hearings and nearly four years.

According to the report, PTI did not disclose banks accounts of two banks during 2008-2009 as only 12 out of 77 accounts were revealed and the cash receipts provided by the audit firm also did not correspond to the bank accounts.

The report further said that during a period of five years the PTI hid funds worth 320 million rupees.

PTI-ECP discord

PTI Chief Imran Khan is demanding removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) for months, accusing him of being biased towards the PML-N.

He has alleged that CEC was “incompetent” and “dishonest”.

Last week, the PTI also decided to move a reference against CEC Sikandar Raja in the judicial commission. The party also got resolutions against the CEC passed from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies, where it has the majority.

On the other hand, the ruling coalition had been urging the election commission to announce a verdict in the case without any further delay.