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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday contradicted some statements appearing in sections of the press on intentional delaying the hearing of the foreign funding case.

According to ECP, these statements are baseless as the scrutiny committee was working on applications received related to the foreign funding case from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Peoples Party, and Pakistan Muslim League (N).

It added the committee had submitted its report on PTI foreign funding case with the commission in December 2021 and its regular hearing has been fixed before the commission, which is in the final stages.

The commission has sought a report on April 28 from the Chairman Scrutiny committee on the matter as the April 27-29 date has been fixed for final arguments of PTI lawyer while the commission has sought necessary records from PPP, PPPP, and PML-N as the scrutiny committee has fixed May 9 for proceeding on cases of these parties.

The commission made it clear that any delay in hearing or proceeding of foreign funding cases was due to various reasons from these parties. It added that the commission has continued the proceeding on the case without any discrimination. The commission said that as per a letter received from the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, the 7th population and housing census is being started on 1st August 2022 and its results will be provided to ECP on December 31st, 2022.

It added that in case of a new census, the ECP’s 2017-based delimitation will become irrelevant and the commission will be bound as per law to start delimitation from January 1st, 2023.

For this purpose, at least four months are required for reviewing electoral rolls due to the addition of statistical block codes and their limitations.

The commission will start hearing on declarations sent by the Speaker National Assembly to the Chief Election Commissioner on May 14 under Article 63 (A) against 20 members National Assembly on April 28 while the date of May 6 has been fixed for hearing on the declarations issued by the Speaker Punjab Assembly against 26 members Punjab Assembly which were received on May 20.

It added that under Article 63 (A), the ECP has to make its decision within 30 days after receiving declarations by the ECP.

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