Criticism of ECP stems from PTI’s fear in foreign funding case: Maryam

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Monday fired a broadside at the PTI, telling the party to not get “overexcited” after losing five of its 20 seats in Punjab, as she linked PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s criticism of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with his “fear of being exposed” in the foreign funding case.

Maryam’s remarks came after former prime minister Imran addressed the nation and demanded Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja’s resignation over his alleged favouring of the PML-N in electoral battles, including the by-elections in Punjab on Sunday.

In his address, Imran had urged the CEC to resign, claiming that his party won the by-polls despite the use of state machinery as he insisted that early elections were still the only solution to the country’s economic problems.

Without naming anyone in her tweet, Maryam said criticism of the ECP was not due to rigging, which she said did not even take place. “It is the fear of the foreign funding case,” she said.

She went on to say that “there is irrefutable evidence against you which has to be revealed inevitably.” She demanded of the ECP to issue its verdict on the case soon.

The case, which was filed by Akbar S Babar, has been pending since Nov 14, 2014. Babar, who was a founding member of the PTI but is no longer associated with it, had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.

ECP dismisses Imran’s allegations

Meanwhile, the ECP rejected the allegations levelled by Imran at the electoral watchdog, saying “all these accusations have nothing to do with reality”.

It said the ECP would continue to perform its duties according to the Constitution and law.

The PTI routed the PML-N in the by-elections on Sunday by winning at least 15 of the 20 seats that got vacated after the disqualification of PTI members who had voted for Hamza Shehbaz for Punjab chief minister’s office.

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