ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Monday finally submitted reply in the contempt petition filed against him by PTI founder member Akbar S Babar seeking an investigation into the foreign funding of the party.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan observed that the reply submitted by Imran Khan was beyond comprehension.
A four-member ECP bench, headed by Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza, heard the contempt application filed by Akbar S Babar against Imran. Imran filed a response to the contempt application by stating that the review (contempt) application on January 1, 2017 stands withdrawn according to the unconditional apology drafted and filed by his lawyer, which he had not contested.
Imran submitted a ‘reply’ to the ECP in which he claimed that he had never been held in contempt of court in the past and did not plan in future. In his reply, submitted to the commission, Imran said his previous statement was twisted into looking like he did not respect the ECP, which was why he had withdrawn it.
The PTI chairman said he believed that a free and fair ECP was necessary for just election. He explained: “I had filed an application in January through a lawyer with suggestions regarding bringing transparency to the commission. The lawyer misrepresented my statement, which was why I had to withdraw it”.
Commenting on the letter, the chief election commissioner remarked, “The reply is so confusing that I do not remember what the original question was”.
In his response, Imran goes on to state that his public statement disowning his lawyer’s unconditional apology was made when ‘queried by a journalist about the proceedings of 16-1-2017 before the ECP he was rushing to reach and attend the hearing of the Constitutional Petition No 29 of 2016 on the premises of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and had not yet been briefed about the said proceedings by counsel’.
The next date of hearing has been set for May 31 to review Imran’s response to the contempt application. The forum is set to hear the foreign funding case on Tuesday after it had given the last chance to the PTI to produce financial documents, which it has refused to produce for over two years.