ECP to continue duties without any pressure

ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday vowed to continue its constitutional duties without any external pressure.

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) during the hearing of foreign funding case against PTI said that ECP will fulfil its constitutional duties without taking any pressure.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, Shah Mohammad Jatoi and Nisar Ahmed Durrani heard the case.

During the case hearing, PTI lawyer Anwar Mansoor read out the Islamabad High Court order related to the case in front of the bench and sought adjournment in the case.

Amid the hearing the ECP Balochistan member Shah Muhammad Jatoi asked the PTI counsel, should the ECP wait for the scrutiny committee report? Where is written to wait for it?

Anwar Mansoor said that PPP and PML-N foreign funding cases were adjourned for three months, adding that the only PTI foreign funding case was heard on daily basis.

He said that the PTI had filed a petition against the two major parties PPP and PML-N in 2017. However, the matter should have been sent to the scrutiny committee at that time.

CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja clarified that all parties foreign funding cases are running together and there is no delay in any case of different political parties.

“You are talking about a level playing field,” the CEC asked the PTI counsel to present the evidence in his case, adding that no cases are being stopped.

Then the PTI counsel said that whatever the court wishes to give order he will not give any evidence, saying that PTI confidential documents had been shown to the petitioner but other parties’ documents are not being given to them, he said.

Later, the commission ordered to hand over documents of PPP and PML-N to the petitioner.

Anwar demanded that the PTI case could not proceed furthermore until rest of the parties cases are treated equally.

“Do you want the eight year old case to be disposed of?” asked the ECP from a PTI lawyer.

Counsel Akbar S Babar said that the PTI petitioner has nothing to do with the case and said that the PTI also has nothing to do with scrutiny of other political parties.

Ahmed Ahsan said that their case has been pending since 2014.

However, the PTI lawyer said that ECP should keep hearing after Eid, adding that he will have to prove that the funders were Pakistanis and also will provide evidence of million dollars to ECP.

Akbar S Babar’s counsel raised an objection to the adjournment of the case, to which the CEC said that he had already heard the case for eight years and it could be a problem to wait for weeks more.

Talking to the media outside the ECP, Akbar Babar stated that PTI is running away accountability and the system is allowing it to happen.

He condemned PTI protests against ECP demanding CEC’s resignation.

Babar said PTI Chairman Imran Khan should resign as he had betrayed the founding ideals of the party and presided over one of the most corrupt governments of the country’s history according to the Transparency International.

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