Sat, 13 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 1 (ANI): Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan announced on Monday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will be holding a protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) head office in Islamabad on Thursday, media reports said.

This comes as Pakistan's Election Commission (ECP) is expected to announce the verdict in the "foreign funding" case against Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the first week of August.

While addressing the party's National Council meeting held in Islamabad, the PTI chairman said, "PTI will hold a peaceful protest out ECP office on Thursday against the conduct of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja," reported ARY News.

Moreover, he also demanded the immediate resignation of the election commissioner. Notably, Imran Khan has already filed a judicial reference against the poll body chief.

Accusing the CEC of being "partisan and dishonest", Imran Khan alleged that Sikandar Sultan Raja tried to sabotage the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

"Countries like India and Iran are using electronic voting machines but unfortunately our ECP chief has denied holding polls through EVMs."Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly passed a resolution against the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Raja Sultan and demanded his resignation.

According to details, Provincial Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra tabled the resolution, seeking the resignations of Chief Election Commissioner and other officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The resolution demanded immediate free and transparent general elections in the country. The resolution expressed 'strong' reservations over the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) "on the basis of solid evidence".

The resolution also urged the political parties to constitute an 'acceptable and non-controversial' Election Commission.

A media reported that Imran Khan's party received funding from Wootton Cricket Club of Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi which was generated through a charity match and an Arab personality.

The pressure on ECP to announce the verdict has increased after a story revealed that PTI whose leader Imran Khan always claimed high moral ground on the issues of corruption and accountability.

It revealed how the PTI accrued funds through cricket matches organised under Wootton Cricket Ltd, a company owned by Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi, reported The Nation.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) demanded an early announcement of the verdict which was reserved on June 21, The News International reported.

The Election Commission is a constitutional body and will continue to follow the constitutional path, local media reported citing the official.

"The ECP will not bow to any blackmailing and will not come under any pressure. No political party is a favourite of the Election Commission neither nor any is a non-favourite. Those who are following the law are standing with the ECP," the official added.

According to the official, filing a judicial reference against the Election Commission of Pakistan and the CEC is an attempt to create a smoke screen ahead of the verdict.

The probe into international money laundering has been completed, the source said.The Election Commission of Pakistan's investigation into the PTI's funding sources was triggered back in 2014 when Akbar S Babar, who helped establish the PTI, filed a complaint.

The ECP has been investigating this for the past seven years and earlier this year in January, the ECP's scrutiny committee issued a damning report in which it said the PTI received funding from foreign nationals and companies and accused it of under-reporting funds and concealing dozens of bank accounts.

The report said that Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013, adding up to a total of USD 2.12 million.

Apparently, Naqvi organised a charity fundraiser in the UK during the summer, the ultimate benefactor of which was the PTI, reported The Nation.

The report claimed that fees were paid to Wootton Cricket Ltd, which, despite the name, was in fact a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi, and the money was being used to bankroll the PTI.

The emails and internal documents which the Financial Times had access to reveal that both companies and foreign nationals, as well as citizens of Pakistan, sent millions of dollars, including at least Pound 2 million from a United Arab Emirates government minister who is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, reported The Nation.

Meanwhile, the PTI leadership has dismissed these reports stating that Naqvi has already given a statement to the ECP in the past and that the party is not guilty of any kind of foul play. (ANI)

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