The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a contempt notice against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. The notice has been issued over his accusation that the ECP is politically motivated in following through on the reference filed against the PTI by former PTI leader, Akbar S Babar about the party receiving foreign funding.

The bias the PTI complains of is probably due the long history of animosity between the PTI and the ECP, rather than ECP’s action on the above mentioned reference. This is not to exonerate the ECP from being grossly inefficient during the last elections, and some of PTIs concerns have been legitimate, but this time the ECP did not warrant remarks from Mr Khan over a matter of financial irregularity. The ECP has to follow through on the reference with due diligence.

The allegations of foreign funding are levied by a former party man, Mr Akbar S Babar, and his claims cannot simply be dismissed. Foreign funding is problematic because of potential political motivations of the donors. This is not to say that the party was involved in any wrongdoing. A look through its documents couldn’t hurt in any way if there is nothing to hide. Asking for financial documents is the perfectly appropriate response on part of the ECP, but instead Mr Khan has filed a reference of his own, claiming political interference.

The PTI has been taking the ruling party from pillar to post in a bid to clear (or sully) its name with reference to the Panama Papers, but is disinterested in doing so when questions have been asked of PTI instead. The party, like all others in the country, is hardly exemplary of democratic fair play, with a chairman that often makes decisions unilaterally, and key leaders refusing to attend parliament sessions. Yet, it often calls out other parties for their refusal to play by the rules. The questions posed against its character must be answered; especially when it has spared no opportunity to make the ruling party do the same.