Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 20 assured fellow party leaders not to worry about the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered hearing of the case on a day-to-day basis. So, is there indeed something that happens to be daunting for the PTI regarding the case?
Prime Minister Imran Khan claims that the Pakstan Tehreek e Insaf’s funds have already gone through rigorous audits and the relevant proofs have already made their way to the courts.
Delving deeper into the timeline of the foreign funding case against the ruling party, one of the very first things that come to light is that the case has been pending in the courts for the last five years. The case in question was filed by Mr. Akbar S Babar, who happens to be one of the founding members of PTI. The case was filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on November 14, 2014, and purported that the ruling party had received funds from a foreign source into undeclared accounts. The constitution of Pakistan condemns political parties from soliciting and receiving donations from foreign-registered companies and non-Pakistani citizens. PTI is also indicted of severe charges of embezzlement and money laundering.
So why hasn’t the case been wrapped up? Is the judicial system to blame for the impeding justice? PTI has been employing delaying tactics to prolong the case in the courts. Since any development that pertains to proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mr. Babar’s claims are indeed very real, would actively disqualify the government. Meanwhile, PTI’s stance on the matter has been to deny and discredit all of Mr. Babar’s allegations. The counter argument proffered by PTI maintains that Mr. Babar has a personal vendetta against PM Imran Khan, which happens to be the reason he has concocted these erroneous accusations against the party.
While maintaining a unbiased opinion regarding the case, the fact still remins that PTI has employed delaying tactics to maneuver their way around the case. This doesn’t look good for PTI, especially during the ongoing controversy surrounding ISPR’s unsolicited elucidations. Pakistan Tehreek E Insaaf has also time and again exhorted the ECP and Islamabad High Court (IHC) to not divulge the proceedings of the case.
The State bank of Pakistan has also provided a list of 18 PTI accounts that were undeclared before ECP. This foreign-funding case is very dangerous for PTI and if the party is found out to be guilty, PTI and Imran Khan could both be banned from politics for life. The way the proceedings of this case have been delayed intentionally by PTI and how many discrepancies and offshore companies allegedly funding PTI have been found is very interesting.
This foreign-funding case has turned out to be very intense and menacing for PTI. The chances of a calamitous verdict loom above Imran Khan’s head, regardless of how calm and collected he might be. If the court indeed finds PTI and Imran Khan guilty of the alleged charges, it could result in a the party being wiped off the face of the earth.
The manner in which the procedures of this case have been postponed purposefully by PTI and the disparity of PTI’s statements, strongly hints towards it being the calm before the storm. The developments in the case at the moment are inadequate to speculate if indeed the PTI ship is en route to collide with an iceberg or it’s just a mirage.
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17 November, 2019