ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Asad Umar Tuesday called the Election Commission of Pakistan a partner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement, claiming the verdict was contrary to details submitted, which will be challenged in the Islamabad High Court in a day or two.
Speaking at a news conference along with other PTI leaders, Asad Umar said that Imran Khan’s politics was based on the strength of the people and needed money for it. “Imran says he will not take money from the powerful but take it from people,” he added. The former minister said, “In general, Pakistan’s economy stands on the remittances of Pakistanis abroad and in the same way the common people living in Pakistan raise money for the PTI and a large number of Pakistanis abroad also do so.”
He said that the rivals wanted to close the door; if a political party could not do politics with money from the people, then there would be only one way left; the path of powerful houses, powerful institutions and external powers. He added that many good people came into Pakistan’s politics but they could not move on because politics could not be pursued without money.” Money is required to hold meetings, on polling days and flag-hoisting and Imran Khan faced this difficult situation,” he added.
Imran Khan, he maintained, is the highest money collector for charity. “He built three Shaukat Khanum Hospitals; Namal University is being built and the Imran Khan Foundation is also there because people have faith in him, the only person in politics whom even the common man is ready to donate. Their system of use of money is in danger. Imran Khan and people have put the system at risk together and today the same effort is being made to somehow close the doors,” he added.
He said that Farrukh Habib went to the Election Commission and submitted details. “The Election Commission should dare and put them on the website to see what details the PTI has submitted and what other parties have provided to the commission. Similarly, there is a long list of allegations against other parties, and the PTI is fighting against these parties, which used to accuse each other of wrong-doing just two years back. If anyone suspected that it was the Election Commission, it is not a state institution but a political rival, a partner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). After today, the doubt should be completely eliminated and the truth should be faced openly, where it stands and what is the reality has been exposed before the public,” he claimed.
Talking about the decision, Asad Umar said that he must offer condolences to all those who were waiting for the Election Commission to ban the PTI and Imran Khan’s politics would end, but the Election Commission did not have that much courage to hand down such a bad decision. Referring to the verdict, he claimed that three concrete allegations had been made in the (ECP) decision. “They have stated that there are undisclosed accounts; all those accounts have been disclosed and all details have been given but it has been ignored,” he maintained.
He continued that the second allegation was prohibited sources. “It is not a joke, how big conspiracy is underway with the people of Pakistan, there is a fundraising mechanism in the United States, the UK and Canada. The law makes it clear that you will build a company for a specific purpose and it will be reported annually. All the money was shown in documents, but they say that PTILLC money is company money, so it cannot be given, so in no uncertain terms, they are saying that in the future not only PTI but no Pakistani political party can take money from Pakistanis living outside the country,” he calimed.
He accused the commission of giving a verdict, exceeding its authority that Imran Khan had submitted a false affidavit, under the Political Parties Act, whereas the party chairman had to give a certificate, not an affidavit. He then explained that a certificate says that the “statement submitted is correct to my knowledge, it is quite contrary to the affidavit of the assets because in it we talk about our assets, here the chairman is talking about the assets of the party and these words are not Imran Khan’s choice but the words of the law.
He added Imran Khan’s politics was neither under a threat before nor would be in the future, “if there is a threat, it is to Pakistan’s rotten political and governance system.”
PTI Senior Vice-President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that they had no expectations from the Election Commission, but it had also come to the conclusion that the PTI did not take foreign funding. “About the 16 accounts that were said to have not been declared, our position is that they were not opened by Imran Khan or the PTI.
Fawad wondered why the PMLN and JUIF considered overseas Pakistanis as their enemies. “This funding for the PTI belongs to overseas Pakistanis; from day one we argue that it is not foreign funding. Today, the Election Commission also said that it is not foreign funding, now the next phase will start in which we would tell that 16 accounts are also legal,” he noted.
He said that no party had the right to hide its funding from the public. “You have decided the PTI case, now decide other parties’ cases soon. The auditor said our accounts are clear, these 16 accounts are subsidiary accounts. We are not at risk, it is a threat to the Muslim League (N), People’s Party and JUI-F.”