ECP Verdict Looms In PTI's Prohibited Funding Case.

ISLAMABAD -- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is most likely to announce its verdict in the prohibited funding case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party on Tuesday (today).

According to the cause-list release by ECP for the prohibited funding, the verdict was reserved on June 21 and the verdict would be announced by a three-member bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The other members of the bench included Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi. The case was filed in 2014 by PTI's founding member Akbar S Babar. Pressure by the ruling party and its allies was witnessed on the electoral watchdog after the Financial Times article on the PTI's funding. The ruling clique in and outside the parliament demanded the ECP to announce a decision on the pending case. The decision on PTI's foreign funding may further aggravate the situation in the political arena as guess work has started about imposition of heavy fines and banning the party for a certain period.

Talking to The Nation, petitioner in PTI's foreign funding case Akbar S Babar said all the records/ witnesses regarding prohibited funding had been provided. 'Hopefully, the decision will be (made) on the provided record,' he said. To a question about damaging effects on the PTI, he avoided to comment in detail and said that it was up to the electoral watchdog body ECP to decide.

Petitioner Akbar S Babar hopes decision will be made on provided record, witnesses

Former PTI's member Akbar S Babar had filed the case in 2014, alleging that the party received foreign funding and the ECP, on June 21, reserved the verdict in the case.

Commenting on a possible scenario, Advocate Supreme Court Zahid F Ebrahim in a thread of tweets says, 'If ECP makes reference that a political party received funds from foreign nationals it becomes foreign aided political party which is prohibited by law. Government on its own can also make such determination on basis of information received'.

'Next step is for Govt to make a declaration by formal notification that political party in question is Foreign Aided Political Party and within 15 days Govt must refer matter to Supreme Court...

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