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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday said that following the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is now a “foreign-aided” political party.

Addressing a press conference flanked by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, he said that now this is a test case for the government and the judiciary. The government will succeed in this test case, he said, adding that after the ECP’s decision, the government is satisfied and after the matter referred to it, the government will file a reference in the Supreme Court.

To a question, he said that the reference will be filed by the government and should be heard by the full court. If the apex court considered it appropriate the three members hear this matter, it is the domain of the court, he said.

He said that on the basis of facts and evidence mentioned in the ECP’s decision, this man (Imran Khan) should be disqualified for life. He said that it is the mandate of the ECP to compile a report on the basis of fact and concrete evidence.

The ECP has compiled its report on the basis of facts as per its decision the PTI is now “a foreign-aided” political party and former premier Imran Khan is “a liar”, he said.

He said that the ECP had issued a historic decision and on behalf of himself and the entire nation, he paid tribute to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan and the two members, Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi. As per the spirit of the ECP’s decision, it has been proved that Imran Khan is “a certified liar”, filed a mis- and wrong declaration and conceal the facts, he said.

The interior minister alleged that Khan has collected charity fund from inside and outside the country on behalf of patients and used that money for gaining his political objectives and creating anarchy in the country. “As per the ECP’s decision this man (Khan) is a dishonest man”, he said.

The minister said that “the daboo sahib of Jehlum”, referring to Fawad Chaudhry, said that there is no mention of foreign funding. As per section 2-C of rules 2002 any part receives any financial or otherwise from any government or political party of a foreign party or any portion of its fund from foreign nationals.

He said that the party of which a portion of fund has been received from foreign nationals will be declared a “foreign-aided” political party. As per the ECP’s decision, the PTI got funding from 34 foreigners, who also include names from our enemy countries, he said, adding that the PTI has received funding from foreign-based companies. “PTI has received funding from foreign national and 351 companies,” he said. He said that means thereby PTI is a foreign-aided political party which has been proved in the ECP’s decision.

He said that according to section 212 and 213 of the Election Act 2017- where the federal government is satisfied that a political party is a foreign-aided party. The law also says that where the federal government is satisfied on the basis of reference from the commission or information received from any other source that political party is a foreign-aided party or has been operating to the manner prejudicial to the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan or is indulging in terrorism the government shall make such declaration by a notification in the official Gazette. It says that within 15 days of making a declaration under clause (1), the government shall refer the matter to the Supreme Court whose decision on such reference shall be final. Where the Supreme Court upholds the declaration made against a political party under clause (1), such party shall stand dissolved forthwith.

The minister said that after the ECP’s decision the government and the people are satisfied and will file a reference in the apex court.

Imran Khan neither wants peace and nor wants democracy progressing in the country, he said. To a question, he said that the PTI has so far not denied a single fact of the ECP’s decision.

The law minister said that as per article 17 of the constitution of Pakistan formation of a political party is the right of every citizen. But as per sub-section 3 of article17, the source of income should be declared as per law, he said. He said that the ECP has presented its report before the nation as per law and constitution.

He said that the ECP has declared the declaration submitted by Imran Khan as inaccurate and misleading. “This is not only illegal but also immoral,” he said, adding that after the ECP’s decision Imran Khan has no justification to do politics.

The ministers prayed for the officers and staff of the Pakistan army who were martyred in the helicopter incident. They said that when the helicopter went missing yesterday, the entire country was praying for the safety of its army brothers. The interior minister prayed that Allah, the Almighty, would give courage and strength to the families of the martyrs to bear this loss.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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