Foreign funding case: PM Shehbaz urges ECP to announce verdict

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) foreign funding case, noting that the delay and impunity granted to PTI was hurting the country.

“For long has Imran Niazi been given a free pass despite his repeated & shameless attacks on state institutions. Impunity given to him has hurt the country,” he said in a tweet.

The foreign funding case was first filed in November 2014 and it accused the PTI and its leadership of corruption and illegal funding of the party. In February 2017, the IHC remanded the case back to the ECP for a fresh review of its jurisdiction.

Following persistent delays, the Election Commission of Pakistan reserved its judgment on June 21.

PM Shehbaz’s demand comes as the PTI secured 15 out of 20 seats in Punjab by-elections held on Sunday. Following the success in polls, PTI Chairman Imran Khan gave a fresh call for general elections in the country.

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He added that he attempted to dissolve the assemblies and put in place a caretaker set up in April 2022 “however, the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned the decision.”

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Monday linked Imran Khan’s criticism of the Election Commission of Pakistan with his “fear of being exposed” in the foreign funding case.

This was after Imran Khan demanded Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja’s resignation over his alleged favouring of the PML-N in polls, including the by-elections in Punjab on Sunday.

Moreover, PTI Chairman Imran Khan is set to challenge the The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) (Amendment) Act, 2022 in the Supreme Court.

After coming to power, the present government passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which scraped electronic voting in elections and restrained overseas Pakistanis from participating in the polls,

Meanwhile, it also passed the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 aimed at stopping the misuse of the law for political engineering and victimization of opponents, was also approved by the NA.

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