By National News Desk
Islamabad: An alliance of Pakistan’s Opposition parties seeking to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday held a protest outside the election commission’s office here to protest against delayed proceedings in his party’s foreign funding case, terming it as the “biggest fraud” in the country’s history.
The case launched in 2014 is based on charges that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party got financial support from abroad by flouting rules.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an alliance of 11 opposition parties – had announced several weeks ago that it would press the Election Commission of Pakistan to expedite the hearing in the case.
The PDM was formed against the a few officials of Pakistan Army’s interference in politics and installing “puppet” Prime Minister Khan through a manipulated election in 2018.
In their addresses during the rally, PDM leaders demanded that the ECP should conclude the case at the earliest as there was solid proof that the PTI got funding from Israel and India.
“We know that people from Israel and India provided funds to bring Imran Khan to power,” claimed PDM’s chief Fazulr Rehman. He did not provide any evidence.
Rehman, who is also chief of Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (JUI-F), also said that the Opposition leaders should not rest until Khan was removed from power.
He termed the struggle against Khan as ‘jihad’.
“He (Khan) has ruined the country and it is jihad to take part in the struggle to push him out,” he said.
Maryam Nawaz of PML-N said the ECP was equally responsible for the problems faced by the people of Pakistan as it failed to check Khan’s rise to power through “fraud” elections in 2018.
She called on the ECP to decide the case of foreign funding at the earliest as it was a clear case of the use of illegal money to run a party.
“Today we have gathered in front of the ECP office to remind it of its constitutional responsibilities…This is the institution that the Constitution has made responsible for respecting the people’s votes and this is the institution that had to get respect for the people’s votes,” she said.
Terming the PTI foreign funding case the “biggest fraud in Pakistan’s history”, she said although the cases against her father and former premier Nawaz Sharif were expedited and decided within days, the ECP had “only held 70 hearings” of the PTI’s foreign case since 2014.
She also alleged that Khan’s party got funding from Israel and India.
The ECP is located in the Red Zone, which houses important buildings like the Parliament House, Presidency, Prime Minister House and the Supreme Court.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad after an initial hesitation announced on Monday that the PDM would be allowed to hold its rally outside the ECP.
Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday tweeted that Opposition parties were making a crude attempt to mislead masses and intimidate the national institution by their protest outside the ECP.
Meanwhile, inside sources told Dawn that Prime Minister Khan had informed his spokespersons on Monday that “stern action” would be taken against protesters found violating the law.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the protest was a “flop show” as the Opposition failed to bring an intimidating number of people.
(Inputs from PTI)