PTI foreign funding case: IHC suspends order asking ECP announce verdict in 30 days

Islamabad local bodies' elections

Islamabad: A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended its earlier order directing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conclude the foreign funding case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 30 days.

Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah and Justice Babar Sattar heard the case today in response to the intra-court appeal registered by the PTI against the directive of a single bench of the court.

The bench combined the PTI petition against ECP’s alleged bias with the intra-court appeal and issued notices to the parties, seeking replies on May 17 and adjourned the session.

ECP ordered to decide on foreign funding case within 30 days

On April 14, the IHC ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to wrap up the foreign funding case of the PTI within 30 days.

The orders were issued by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on applications filed by the PTI asking for Akbar S Babar’s separation from the case, the dismissal of the case, and keeping the PTI documents secret.

The PTI had challenged the ECP’s applications seeking the exclusion of Babar, the petitioner, from the foreign funding case.

It had also demanded that all records of the case, including the documents requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan, should not be shared with Babar, who had filed the case in November 2014.

However, the IHC ruled that the ECP’s role “is of important nature and same cannot be curtailed in any manner”. It noted that the body is a “supervisory, regulatory and administrative body under the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 to deal with the affairs of political parties, election and its results”.

It also noted that “no restriction could be imposed upon ECP to adopt any process of inquiry, investigation, scrutiny to reach out the mandate of assigned duty in terms of Article 17(3)”. “If any of the party funding has been received through prohibited sources, it will affect the status of such political party including its chairman, therefore, it is necessary to dig out the truth, even petitioner being a political party is also under an obligation to maintain its dignity and integrity, which has a far-reaching effect in Pakistani society and if any foreign funding has been received contrary to law and mandate of the Constitution.

more to follow…

Previous articleForeign Office deplores Indian advisory barring students from seeking higher education in Pakistan
Next articleGraeme Smith cleared of racism allegations