Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) plea to prevent the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from hearing Akbar S Babar’s petition regarding the party’s alleged foreign funding.
The PTI had earlier challenged ECP’s jurisdiction regarding the case but was rejected by a full bench of the commission early May.
On Friday, the IHC also rejected PTI’s plea to issue a stay order in the case. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani said that the case has been going on since 2014 and has already once been referred back to the ECP.
Ordering the ECP and the petitioner to submit their replies, Justice Kiyani adjourned the case until further notice.
Foreign funding cases against PTI
PTI and its chief Imran Khan are currently involved in two separate cases, both alleging that the party has acquired funds from prohibited foreign sources.
Akbar S Babar’s petition alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Imran Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal “hundi” channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees. He also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the ECP.
Meanwhile PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi’s petition, currently being heard by the Supreme Court, seeks PTI chairman Imran Khan’s disqualification, alleging that his party acquired funds, amounting to millions of dollars, from prohibited foreign sources, including multinational corporations. The SC is expected to form a commission to investigate the issue.