The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday, in a unanimous verdict, ruled that the PTI did indeed receive prohibited funding and issued a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated.
A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander (CEC) Sultan Raja announced the verdict in a case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar which had been pending since 8 years. The verdict, which was reserved on June 21, was expected at 10am but was delayed by almost half-an-hour.
Key points of ECP’s ruling:
- Commission finds PTI received funding from prohibited sources
- Party got funds from 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies
- PTI took ownership of eight accounts, kept 13 hidden and failed to mention three
- PTI is given notice to provide justifications as to why funds shouldn’t be seized.
- Imran Khan’s Form-1 was discovered to be “grossly incorrect.”
The committee added that the party concealed 13 accounts and that the financial disclosures made by Mr. Khan, who served as the party’s chairman from 2008 to 2013, were “found to be highly false.”
It claimed that the PTI received money from various foreign individuals and businesses, including business tycoon Arif Naqvi, owner of a Dubai-based equity group, who is one of several people accused by US prosecutors of participating in a global scheme to defraud investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Government’s response to prohibited funding case decision
It was expected that the government lead by PMLN and its allies will respond to the decision as its success and will face media chest thumping to talk about the details of the decision.
As soon as the decision was announced the Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir conducted a press conference regarding the decision and how the decision is a success for the PDM government while a loss for Imran Khan and PTI.
The press conference was just a starting point of a series of media interactions that were conducted almost every hour till late evening.
After the press conference by PMLN representatives the PPP jumped on the bandwagon and conducted a fresh press conference explaining the decision and degrading PTI and Imran Khan for his ill conduct. Then it was followed by another press conference by PPP repeating the same comments and explaining the decision.
PLMN again had their turn and another aggressive press conference was conducted by Musaddiq Malik and the same decision of prohibited funding case was explained yet again in the same manner.
Khawaja Asif and Ayaz Sadiq were lucky enough as they had the screen again to themselves as they shredded PTI and Imran Khan to pieces.
The press conference was followed by another press conference by PMLN.
So in total around 20 representatives have conducted press conferences and it is expected that the series will continue and is expected that top leadership will conduct a joint media interaction soon.
Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman are expected to do a press conference joined by the entire PDM leadership of 12 parties any time soon or in the upcoming 2 days.