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Prohibited funding case: Pakistan’s top probe agency forms five-member monitoring team

Khan has been accusing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of being biased.

Prohibited funding case: Pakistan’s top probe agency forms five-member monitoring team
Khan rejected the verdict by declaring it political vendetta and demanded that the ECP chief Raja should resign. (Photo Reuters)

Pakistan’s top investigative has formed a five-member special monitoring panel to coordinate with zonal teams probing the prohibited funding case against former prime minister Imran Khan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf party, as authorities expanded the probe into the matter, according to a media report on Sunday.

The government had asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the case after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in its verdict in the case on August 2 held Khan’s party guilty of getting funding from prohibited sources.Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have been at loggerheads. Khan has been accusing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of being biased.

Pakistan’s election commission on Tuesday said that Khan’s party received funds against the rules from 34 foreign nationals, including a businesswoman of Indian origin, in a major setback to the former prime minister.

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The Express Tribune newspaper reported that the FIA on Saturday formed a five-member special monitoring team, expanding the scope of inquiry, as it kicked off the probe by summoning five former ruling party leaders, including former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, Provincial Minister Mahmoodur Rasheed, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, to appear before it this month.A five-member special team under the leadership of Director Training Muhammad Athar Waheed will be responsible for coordination with zonal inquiry teams in Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta and Faisalabad.

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The team includes Additional Director Khalid Anees, Deputy Director Khawaja Hamad, Deputy Director Chaudhry Ejaz and Assistant Director Ejaz Ahmed Shaikh.The case was filed in November, 2014 by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, who is no longer associated with the party.The ECP in its verdict issued a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated, and it also said that it was “constrained to hold that Imran Khan failed to discharge his obligations as mandated under the Pakistani statutes.”

Though the PTI tried to play down the damning verdict against it, the government on Thursday decided to send a declaration against the PTI to the Supreme Court following the ECP decision. Khan rejected the verdict by declaring it political vendetta and demanded that the ECP chief Raja should resign.

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