ECP rules PTI
received billion of
rupees from 34
prohibited foreign funds

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ECP orders all political parties to submit asset details until August 29

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Imran Khan decides to file judicial reference against CEC Sikander Raja

ISLAMABAD:  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a unanimous verdict Tuesday ruled that the PTI received funds from prohibited sources. In its verdict, the ECP said that the party, in violation of the Constitution, had received funds from 34 foreigners. The party received funds from US, Australia and UAE.

The party accepted funds from a US business personality, it added.

The party accepted funds from a US business personality, it said, and added, “13 unidentified accounts also surfaced during the probe in the PTI funding case.”

The ECP said that the PTI had submitted a false affidavit about the party’s accounts. PTI Chairman Imran Khan had submitted a false F1 form to the ECP, it added.

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and ECP members Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi announced the verdict.

“The Commission is satisfied that the contributions and donations have been received by the respondent party from prohibited sources,” the ruling stated.

The ECP inquiry has acquired ever greater importance in recent weeks as Khan, who lost office in April in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence, pushes for a political comeback. The closely-watched case was filed by a former member of the PTI party, Akbar S. Babar, in 2014, who alleged that the political entity received foreign funds from individual or companies to support election campaigns, which is prohibited under Pakistani laws. 

Imran Khan

In its 70-page verdict, the ECP listed all individuals and entities, including the disgraced business tycoon Arif Naqvi, who sent the prohibited funds, saying Khan’s party “knowingly and willfully received these donations.” 

“The commission is satisfied that the contributions and donations have been received by the respondent party through prohibited sources,” the polls regulator ruled. 

Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Khan had violated the constitution of the country. 

“ECP verdict on PTI foreign funding case chargesheets Imran [Khan] Niazi for violating the constitution, submitting false affidavits & accepting foreign money,” he said in a Twitter post. “Proven yet again that he is a certified liar. Nation should ponder over the implications of his politics funded by foreigners.” 

Key points of ECP’s ruling

Commission finds PTI received funding from prohibited sources

Party got funds from Arif Naqvi, 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies

PTI took ownership of eight accounts, kept 13 hidden and failed to mention three

Notice issued to PTI to explain why funds shouldn’t be confiscated

Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Sikandar Sultan Raja

Form-1 submitted by Imran Khan found to be “grossly inaccurate”

Written verdict

In the written verdict, the commission noted that the party “knowingly and willfully” received funding from Wootton Cricket Limited, operated by business tycoon Arif Naqvi. The party was a “willing recipient” of prohibited money of $2,121,500, it said.

The ECP said that the party “knowingly and willfully” also received donations from Bristol Engineering Services (a UAE-based company), E-Planet Trustees (a Cayman Island private registered company), SS Marketing Manchester (a UK-based private company), PTI USA LLC-6160 and PTI USA LLC-5975 which were “hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani laws”.

It went on to say that the party also received donations through PTI Canada Corporation and PTI UK Public Limited Company. “From both the companies, the amounts received into its accounts of PTI Pakistan are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani laws.”

Further, the party received from Australia-based company Dunpec Limited, and Pakistani companies Anwar Brothers, Zain Cotton and Young Sports which was again in violation of the law.

“PTI Pakistan, through fundraising campaigns through fundraising campaigns by PTI USA LLC-6160 and PTI USA LLC-5975 was a recipient of donations from 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies. Collection of donations and contributions from foreign nationals and companies are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani laws,” it said.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan

The electoral watchdog also said that the PTI had been found to be a beneficiary of donations made by Romita Shetty, a US-based business woman of Indian-origin which was in violation of the laws.

The ECP went on to say that the party had only owned eight accounts before the commission and declared 13 accounts to be unknown. “The data obtained from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reveals that all the 13 accounts disowned by the PTI were opened and operated by senior PTI management and leadership at [a] central and provincial level.”

The commission noted that the party failed to mention three accounts which were also being operated by the party’s senior leadership. Non-disclosure and concealment of 16 bank accounts by the PTI is a “serious lapse” on part of the PTI’s leadership and in violation of Article 17(3) of the Constitution, it said.

Article 17(3) (3) says: “Every political party shall account for the source of its funds in accordance with law.”

The PTI chairman submitted Form-I for five years (between 2008-2013) which was found to be “grossly inaccurate on the basis of the financial statements obtained by this commission from SBP and other material available on record”.

ECP orders all parties to submit

asset details until 29th August

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered all registered political parties to submit details of their assets latest by August 29.  According to the order issued by the ECP, all political parties have to submit the details of their assets for the year 2021-22. The parties have to declare their annual income as well as sources of income, the ECP said.

The parties will have to disclose the economic structure of the party, the order said. All political parties will have to prove that they have not indulged in taking any prohibited funding.

On June 21, PTI’s prohibited funding case hearing was completed in the election commission after Petitioner Akbar S. Babar’s financial expert concluded his arguments. The ECP reserved its verdict after the conclusion of arguments from both sides of the case.

“The case has concluded, the cases of other parties would also come to an end soon,” CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja said while thanking the parties. “Seasoned jurists appeared in the case and several sensitive matters came to the surface,” he said. “Democracy is very important for the country. We are not anxious about what is being said outside, the matter will be decided with justice,” CEC said.

The PM, PPP, Maryam Nawaz and PDM parties have demanded to announce the verdict of the PTI prohibited funding case.

Imran Khan decides to file

judicial reference against CEC

Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has decided to file a judicial reference against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Raja Sultan.

According to details, the decision was taken during a meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership under the chairmanship of Imran Khan.

The participants expressed their concerns over the meeting between members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and a government delegation. “CEC Sikandar Raja Sultan violated the ECP’s code of conduct,” the PTI leadership said.

The meeting also decided to bring no-confidence motion against the election commission in two provincial assemblies – Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Meanwhile, the PTI Chairman has directed the legal experts to start proceedings.