ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce its “long-delayed” judgement in the “foreign funding” against ex-premier Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Last month, the ECP reserved its judgement on prohibited funding case against the PTI which is also known as the foreign funding case.
The case has remained pending since November 2014, after it was filed by a PTI founding member, Akbar S. Babar, who alleged financial irregularities in the party funding received from Pakistan and abroad.
The prime minister and his sons have also been facing a Rs16 billion ($80 million) money laundering case.
Sharif and his son Hamza, who is the chief minister of Punjab province, are on bail. Last week, the PM’s other son, Suleman, was declared proclaimed offenders after he failed to appear before a court despite being summoned.
“I urge the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce long-delayed judgment on PTI foreign funding case,” the prime minister said in a Twitter post, adding: “For long has Imran [Khan] Niazi been given a free pass despite his repeated & shameless attacks on state institutions. Impunity given to him has hurt the country.”
However, a senior PTI leader and former information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the ECP had nothing against his party in the case.
“I completely agree with Shehbaz Sharif’s tweet. We are only saying that the ECP should not only announce its judgment in the PTI funding case but also look into the [ruling] PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] and PPP [Pakistan Peoples Party] funding too,” he said.
“The allegation against the PTI is that companies in other countries sent us money which amounted to about 250 million rupees,” he continued. “Overall, we have received billions of rupees in party funding and out of those 250 million rupees were from various companies. Before 2013, there was no restriction [on taking funding from companies].”
“After a legislation in 2018, it was banned to get funding by companies [from outside Pakistan], and our version is that the law enacted in 2018 doesn’t apply to this case,” he added.
The PTI has also denied any wrongdoing in the past, maintaining it had not received any party funding from prohibited sources.