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ISLAMABAD: The electoral body, Tuesday, directed the former ruling party –Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)—to submit reply to the show cause notice in Prohibited Funding Case, latest by June 6, saying that no further extension would be given in this deadline.

In the proceedings of the case, Naveed Anjum, an associate counsel in the case, sought adjournment in the case to file reply to the show cause notice issued to the PTI by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) - last year.

Heading a three-member bench that heard the case, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja remarked that Anwar Mansoor Khan, the PTI’s counsel in the case and former attorney general for Pakistan (AGP), sought adjournment in the previous hearing too.

The defence side replied Khan was in Karachi in connection with some cases pending in Sindh High Court (SHC).

The associated counsel further said that scores of PTI leaders and workers were arrested and jailed in the aftermath of May 9 episode, and the political party needed more time to file reply to the show cause notice.

The bench then adjourned the case hearing till June 6, directing the defence side to file reply by the given date, failing which, the bench observed it would proceed ahead against the PTI.

On August 2, last year, the ECP finally announced the much-hyped and long-awaited verdict in the Prohibited Funding Case (formerly known as Foreign Funding Case) — around eight years after the case landed in the electoral body in November 2014 — in what came as a huge sigh of relief for the former ruling party that was not found guilty of being a foreign-aided political party — but the commission issued PTI a show cause notice for explaining its position over receiving prohibited funds.

After the verdict was issued, the commission came under massive criticism from the PTI and public circles over alleged discrepancies in the 70-page written order on Prohibited Funding Case.

Scores of overseas Pakistanis appeared on electronic and social media to lambaste the electoral body for naming them as foreign donors, who, according to ECP, sent illegal donations to PTI—in Prohibited Funding Case verdict.

The ECP’s order also contained details of funds received by the PTI from some 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies but the funding record provided by ECP in the verdict was strongly disputed by the overseas Pakistanis with several companies that were shown as foreign donor entities were found to be belonging to overseas Pakistanis.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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