Sat, 13 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and arch-rival Imran Khan for creating chaos in the name of the protest against the Election Commission of Pakistan and expressed worry over reports about a possible attack against the commission by the PTI workers on Thursday.

As the Pakistan Election Commission ruled that former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) received funding from prohibited sources, Imran is all set to hold a peaceful protest outside the Commission's head office in Islamabad on Thursday), media reports said.

The foreign funding case against Imran's party was pending since November 14, 2014, and it was filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar who had alleged that there are some financial irregularities in the PTI's funding from Pakistan and abroad.

ECP in its verdict revealed that the money received from the foreign countries was used by Khan to fund PTI and he made false declarations in 2018 before the elections. As the decision of the Commission is based on facts it could trigger constitutional, criminal and civil cases against the PTI and its leadership, reported ARY News.

The show cause notice issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on prohibited funding to PTI is likely to put Imran Khan's leadership in danger as the funds received by the PTI Chief from foreign countries including the US, UAE, Australia and UK could lead to several numbers of cases against the party.

During PTI's National Council meeting on Tuesday, Imran Khan announced to hold a protest outside the ECP office and demanded the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

"PTI will hold a peaceful protest out ECP office on Thursday against the conduct of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja," he said and reiterated his demand for the immediate resignation of the election commissioner.

He accused the CEC of being "partisan and dishonest" and alleged that Sikandar Sultan Raja tried to sabotage the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). "Countries like India and Iran are using electronic voting machines but unfortunately our ECP chief has denied holding polls through EVMs."However, the ruling coalition seems to be more vigilant when it comes to protests by PTI as several skirmishes has already been seen in earlier protests held by Imran Khan's PTI.

Therefore, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday asserted that the government will not allow PTI supporters to protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Giving the reason for not permitting PTI for holding demonstrators against the poll body, he added that the ECP headquarters falls in Islamabad's high-security "Red Zone" area and thus protests cannot be allowed there, as per the media portal.

These remarks came at a press conference where Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb joined Rana Sanaullah.

"I am warning PTI to refrain from entering Red Zone tomorrow. PTI can stage a protest at the designated venue by Judiciary and the government will also provide security to the protestors," he added, reported ARY News.

The ECP decision over PTI's foreign funding case may land PTI in extreme trouble as it can also lead to the framing of criminal cases involving money laundering, unknown bank accounts and receipt of funds from nationals of enemy countries, etc. against the PTI leadership.

According to the ECP, each certificate certifies that the PTI was operating as per Pakistani statutes and made a declaration about the accounts for the source of its funds as mandated under Article 17(3) of the Constitution.

"Being head of the Political Party and as Chairman it was obligatory on Mr Imran Khan to ensure that all the disclosures and submissions are made to the Election Commission strictly in accordance with the laws. On the basis of records available before us, this Commission is constrained to hold that Mr Imran Khan failed to discharge his obligations as mandated under the Pakistani Statutes," the ECP added.

As per the ECP, there are two bank accounts among those not declared by the PTI, opened at the request of Imran Khan himself but not declared before the ECP. One of these accounts was a USD account, opened in a Pakistani bank branch in Islamabad on the request of Imran Khan with the account title of PTI. From this account, an amount of USD 51,750 was withdrawn and an amount of USD 51,750 was deposited, The News International reported.

While, on the other hand, the second account was a rupee account opened in the HBL Islamabad Civic Centre branch at the request of Imran Khan. From this account, an amount of Rs84.141 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs86.890 million was deposited in this account.

The ECP in its decision issued a show-cause notice to the PTI, as to why the prohibited funds may not be confiscated as confiscation of the prohibited funds is the domain of the ECP. (ANI)

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