ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) yesterday accused the ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf of embezzlement worth billions of rupees.

Speaking at a news conference here along with Maryam Aurangzeb, senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said the massive embezzlement was an unforgivable crime.

“The government is stopping Election Commission of Pakistan from performing its duties through planned conspiracy,” he said

Ahsan Iqbal maintained PTI did not declare its 23 accounts before ECP. “The nation is now asking them where this money went and where it came from. Millions of dollars were transacted through these unreported accounts,” he alleged.

He maintained that it should be clear who funded PTI from India, America and Middle East. Earlier in the day, the ECP accepted opposition’s application to conduct the proceedings in the foreign funding case against the PTI on a daily basis from November 26 onwards.

Ahsan accuses ruling party of embezzlement worth billions

Members of the joint opposition’s Rehbar Committee lodged protest in front of the ECP with the demand to conduct daily hearings in the case, and subsequently submitted an application, pleading with the ECP to decide the case before the expiry of the chief election commissioner’s term next month.

In the absence of the Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Mohammed Raza Khan, two members of the ECP presided over the hearing and accepted the application. The application pointed out that the foreign funding case against the PTI had been pending with the ECP for the past five years, while all relevant documents were available for proceedings.

“We urge that in the interest of justice the case may be heard on a daily basis and decided at the earliest during the term of the CEC,” it stated.

Opposition Rehbar (guide) Committee chief Akram Durrani said: “It is the demand of all political parties that the hearings of the case should be done on a daily basis.”

On November 7, the PTI filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court to challenge the ECP’s decision to reject its applications against an audit of the party’s foreign funding. The ruling party requested the court to restrain the scrutiny committee formed by the election commission from probing the party’s foreign funding.

On October 10, the ECP rejected four applications filed by PTI seeking secrecy in the scrutiny of the foreign funding case against the party.

Ahsan Iqbal said the nation wanted to hold Prime Minister Imran Khan accountable on the benami (nameless) accounts and it should be clear who funded PTI from India, America and Middle East.

The PML-N leader questioned why these accounts were concealed from ECP and why PTI always wanted to make proceedings secret. He alleged that PTI wanted to escape from accountability by keeping election body incomplete. He said PTI influenced ECP by various legal aspects.

For over a year, the proceedings of the case were delayed in the ECP as the PTI had filed a writ petition in October 2015 in the Islamabad High Court seeking to restrain the ECP from scrutinising its accounts.

In March 2018, a scrutiny committee had been formed to look into PTI’s foreign funding accounts to ascertain any malpractice.