ECP calls PTI leaders on Islamabad


ECP calls PTI leaders on Islamabad ‘shutdown’ day ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen, asking them to appear before it on Nov 2 — the day of the party’s planned siege of Islamabad — in connection with the disqualification references against them.

The two references were filed with the National Assembly speaker by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers and were referred to the ECP last month after Ayaz Sadiq deemed them to be valid references that warranted further action.

“Please take notice and be informed that the reference cited as subject has been fixed for hearing on Nov 2, 2016, at 10am. You are therefore required to appear before the ECP in person or through counsel on the above mentioned date and time… failing which the matter will be decided in your absence,” the notice reads.

The speaker had rejected four references seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family after holding that no question of disqualification had arisen.

Notices issued to Imran, Tareen in cases forwarded by National Assembly speaker last month

In all, eight disqualification references were filed with the speaker —four against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, two against Imran Khan and one each against PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai and PTI’s Jahangir Tareen.

Apart from the four against the PM, one of the references filed against Imran Khan and the one against Mehmood Khan Achakzai were rejected on grounds of “insufficient evidence”.

The reference against Imran Khan mentioned his offshore company and properties abroad, income, the fact that he had not disclosed an investment to the ECP and his alleged misstatements about his Bani Gala house.

It alleges that Mr Khan had purchased a flat in London through an offshore company in 1983 and did not disclose this fact until 2016.

Another allegation against him is about his sprawling Bani Gala residence, which he had declared to be a gift from his ex-wife. However, the record shows that he claimed to have purchased the land at a rate of Rs145,000 per kanal in 2011.

“Mr Khan gifted Rs6.5 million to his ex-wife Jemima Khan in the year 2001-02. She purchased 45 kanals of land at Mohra Noor, Islamabad, with that amount. Later, she transferred that land to Mr Khan, who declared it a gift in his wealth statements filed with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). [This] establishes that the gift-back arrangement was made by Mr Khan to launder his black money. Besides the aforementioned 45 kanals, Ms Jemima also purchased 255 kanals at Mohra Noor with an amount of Rs36.98 million.”

The reference also goes on to question the sources of income that he used to construct the palatial house, accusing him of concealing his investment in the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Constitution Avenue in the declaration of assets submitted to the ECP for the year 2014.

It also accused the PTI chief of keeping the ownership of his London apartment at 165-Draycott Avenue a secret until a tax amnesty scheme was announced by the government in the year 2000.

The reference against Jahangir Tareen, meanwhile, alleged that as a federal minister during the Musharraf regime, he had received a Rs101 million loan from the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in the name of Tandlianwala Sugar Mills, which was later written off in 2005. “Jahangir Tareen concealed facts while submitting his nomination papers for the general elections in 2013 and by-elections in 2015,” the reference stated.

It has been over a month since the ECP received these references from the speaker. Under the law, the commission is supposed to decide any reference sent to it within three months.



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