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ECP reserves decision in PTI foreign funding case

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday reserved its decision in a foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

PTI lawyer Anwar Masood 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.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, who is heading the five-member bench hearing the petition filed by former PTI member Akbar S Babar, 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, 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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