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ECP orders PTI to submit account details by September 7

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to submit the entire record pertaining to the party’s funding until September 7.

The chief election commissioner (CEC), in the short order, said this is the last chance for the party to furnish details of its accounts.

Addressing the media outside the ECP, the petitioner in the foreign funding case, Akbar S Babar, said PTI Chairman Imran Khan again tried to wriggle out of the case today.

“Imran isn’t providing details of the party’s accounts for the past two years,” said Babar, a disgruntled PTI leader.

Earlier today, the ECP had reserved its decision on the PTI’s plea to temporarily halt proceedings in the foreign funding case.

PTI lawyer Anwar Masood had requested for discontinuation of the party’s foreign funding case in the ECP on the premise that a similar case is also being heard in the Supreme Court — in which the ECP is a respondent.

CEC Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, who is heading the five-member bench hearing the petition, said the party should file a petition citing its discontinuation request in the Supreme Court.

The party has failed to submit details of its accounts and funds to the ECP since the past two years, however, it has submitted the records to the Supreme Court.

Later, the CEC reserved decision on the PTI counsel’s plea, stating that it will be announced later today.

Addressing the media outside the ECP after the verdict was reserved, PTI leader Naeem-ul-Haque claimed that ‘millions of Pakistanis give funding to PTI,’ and said that many of the party’s supporters hold ‘dual citizenships.’

Haque said the party was willing to disclose its account details but other parties must also do the same.

In 2014, Babar filed a petition seeking disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly obtaining funding from illegal sources and discrepancies in the party’s accounts.

He also claimed that funds worth $3 million were collected by the PTI chief, transferred from illegal channels from the Middle East to bank accounts of PTI members.

The ECP is hearing two separate cases related to PTI’s ‘foreign funding’ while the Supreme Court is also hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Hanif Abbasi.

Abbasi has alleged that Imran should be disqualified from Parliament for concealing his assets and receiving foreign funding.

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Azhar Hashmi

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