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Imran Khan more powerful than PM, says former ECP secretary

Kunwar Dilshad cites ECP has no right to ban any party
Updated 03 Aug, 2022 12:24pm

PTI prohibited funding case saabit - Show cause notice jari | Aaj Pakistan with Sidra Iqbal

KARACHI: PTI chief Imran Khan is more powerful than the prime minister, Kanwar Dilshad, former election commission secretary, said on Wednesday.

“Imran Khan is making a political demand [for general elections], he is the king,” he told Aaj News on the morning show. “There has never been a politician like him in Pakistan ever. He has governments in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, AJK, and GB… what is the need to have general elections.”

A three-member bench of the ECP, which heard PTI’s funding case, ruled on Tuesday that the former ruling party took prohibited funding from foreign companies and hid 13 accounts out of the total 34 that it received money from.

The development prompted back-to-back press conferences from the coalition government. They slammed the PTI, a party that claimed to be ousted via foreign conspiracy, for taking prohibited funds and apparently misleading the people.

But PTI is undeterred as it claimed the ruling as its “victory”. The Imran-led party has decided to challenge the decision in the high court, however, leader Maleek Bokhari alleged that propaganda was being made against the country’s “biggest” party.

Dilshad was of the view that political parties have the right to review or criticise the ECP’s ruling. “It was a historic decision. Now the ball is in the court of the federal government,” he said, adding that the commission could confiscate the prohibited funding after inquiry.

The former secretary slammed the PTI chief for accusing the CEC of having personal biases.

He was of the view that the coalition government’s apparent inability to provide relief to the people prompted them to tilt towards former PM Imran.

“The State Bank of Pakistan has proved the prohibited funding, not the ECP,” he said while reasoning it with the availability of documents. Dilshad suggested that the PTI should approach the Supreme Court against the ECP ruling as per the constitutional right, however, he advised the party to not criticise the institution.

“The people, who are reeling from the prevailing economic situation, will not accept such decisions,” Dilshad said, “A party cannot be banned in such a situation. Neither the ECP nor the federal government has the right to ban a party.”

The former secretary said the prohibited funding case after the show cause notice would take days in courts and the ECP would not conduct any inquiry into it.

“I see elections in 2023 and it will cost around Rs1 trillion,” he said.

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Shehbaz Sharif

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