Pakistan’s election commission on Friday issued a notice to former premier Imran Khan and ordered him to appear personally on August 23 at the hearing in the prohibited funding case against his party.
Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have been at loggerheads. Khan has been accusing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of being biased.
Pakistan's election commission on Tuesday said that Khan's party received funds against the rules from 34 foreign nationals, including a businesswoman of Indian-origin, in a major setback to the former prime minister.
A three-member bench of the ECP issued a show cause notice to Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party for receiving prohibited funding from foreign nationals and foreign-based companies and keeping it under wraps. It also sought an explanation from the party and its chief Khan.
According to the ECP website, the case titled “Notice to Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in terms of Rule 6 of Political Parties Rule 2006, in compliance of judgment by the commission dated August 2 in case title Akbar Sher Babar” has been fixed for hearing on August 23, at 10 am.
The case was filed in November, 2014 by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, who is no longer associated with the party.
The ECP in its verdict issued a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated, and it also said that it was “constrained to hold that Imran Khan failed to discharge his obligations as mandated under the Pakistani statutes.”
Khan, in a speech on Thursday, rejected the verdict by saying that the funding was received by the party in 2012 when it was not prohibited. He accused his opponents of trying to oust him from politics on technical grounds.
Separately, the ECP also accepted for hearing a reference by lawmakers of the ruling alliance on Thursday seeking the disqualification of Khan from public office on the basis of a verdict by the ECP in the prohibited funding case.
Its hearing has been fixed on August 18, according to the ECP.
The ECP's verdict came after The Financial Times newspaper recently published a story titled ‘The strange case of the cricket match that helped fund Khan’s political rise’.
The report states that fees were paid to Wootton Cricket Limited, which, despite the name, was in fact a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi, the founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group.
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