IHC to hear PTI foreign funding case on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD: Division Bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) will hear the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) writ petition challenging the jurisdiction of the Election Commission to scrutinize PTI accounts on Wednesday. The petition was filed by PTI on November 26, 2015 seeking suspension of proceedings in the ECP of the foreign funding case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar alleging corruption and illegal source of foreign funding of the party.

The case took an interesting turn after two leading Muftis of Pakistan have rejected the stance of the chairman PTI Imran Khan that “there is no concept of scrutiny by the public and there is no concept of the public filing complaint based on their scrutiny.” The PTI chairman had taken stance in the signed affidavit submitted to the IHC.

The religious edicts by Darul Uloom and Jamia Binoria, Karachi were issued on the request of PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar’s seeking guidance in the light of Quranic injunctions and Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) on Imran Khan’s sworn affidavit. The PTI chairman had claimed that “accountability cannot be done based on a complaint filed by a citizen of Pakistan.”

The religious edict issued by the Grand Mufti-e-Azam Pakistan states that under Islamic Sharia ordinary citizens have the right to demand investigations from relevant legal forums based on evidence and not just hearsay on matters of financial corruption or ‘Khianet.’ The edict states those suspected of financial corruption or breach of trust cannot be accused merely on suspicion or hearsay. However, if evidence is available, ordinary citizens have the right to seek investigations through appropriate legal forums. The edict also states that individuals should appropriately refrain from donating to organizations or individuals about whom they have concerns about financial transparency.

The edict from Jamia Binoria similarly states that the PTI leader’s stance of refusing to be held accountable on a complaint by an ordinary citizen is ‘inappropriate’ whereas Islamic history is replete with instances where subordinates have demanded accountability of rulers. The edict also states that both parties should repose confidence in the organization investigating the case which is familiar with relevant laws.

The religious edicts clearly negate the stance of the PTI Chairman Imran Khan that the ECP cannot initiate scrutiny of PTI accounts based on a complaint filed by an ordinary citizen.

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