The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled on Tuesday that the PTI received funding from prohibited sources.
Key points of ECP’s ruling:
- Party got funds from 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies
- PTI took ownership of eight accounts, kept 13 hidden and failed to mention three
- Form-1 submitted by Imran Khan found to be “grossly inaccurate”
In a country where political leaders have been outed as having received funding from Osama bin Laden, and where investigations led by the Supreme Court have found that an entire generation of politicians were bankrolled by the ISI, this matter should not trouble PTI.
However, with political rivalry at its peak, it is unlikely that the federal government will let this matter go without pressurizing the ECP and the judiciary for a firm decision.
So what does the ECP ruling mean for the PTI?
There are three possible outcomes that may come out of this ruling:
1. Party funds can be confiscated in light of Article 6 of Political Parties Order
Article 6 of the Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002, elaborates who can be a donor/contributor to a political party, what is prohibited funding, and what happens to prohibited funding.
If prohibited funding is proven as per PPO Article 6(4), then the party funds will be confiscated.
2. The Party can stand dissolved in light of Article 15 of PPO
Article 15 states that where the federal government is satisfied that a political party is a “foreign-aided party”, it shall make such a declaration and within 15 days, refer the matter to the Supreme Court. If the court upholds the declaration, such party shall stand dissolved.
3. Disqualification of Imran Khan as per Article 62 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 13 of the PPO that requires political parties to submit audited financial accounts every year, which are to be certified by the head of the political party. In this case, that certification has also been adjudged as false.
This goes against Article 62 of the Constitution for a member of parliament to be Sadiq and Ameen.
If the rule of law was consistent, and if the Supreme Court ousted Nawaz Sharif correctly on being less than Sadiq and Ameen, then the same standard applied today would land Imran Khan in hot water, leading to his disqualification.
Yet, the Supreme Court’s decision cannot be predicted.
Do you think Imran Khan will be disqualified?