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‘Incomplete’ ECP cannot decide foreign funding case, argues PTI



  • PTI’s counsel argues that an “incomplete commission” is not authorised to decide any case as per the Constitution.
  • He says two of the ECP member retired in 2019 but the slots are yet to be filled.
  • PTI will file an intra-court appeal challenging the IHC’s order, says Farrukh Habib.

ISLAMABAD: The PTI on Tuesday raised objections against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), claiming that an “incomplete commission” is not authorised to decide any case as per the constitution.

PTI’s counsel Anwar Mansoor was raising objections as two members of the ECP — out of the total four — retired following the completion of their tenures.

Mansoor’s objections came as a three-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, resumed hearing in the PTI foreign funding case today.

At the outset of today’s hearing, PTI’s counsel Anwar Mansoor argued that two of the ECP member retired in 2019 but the slots are yet to be filled.

“The Constitution gives powers to the election commission but not to the commissioner or members,” Mansoor added.

At this, CEC Raja remarked that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered the ECP to decide the case within 30 days, adding that the ECP wanted to hear the case on a daily basis in line with the IHC’s order.

During the course of the proceeding, PTI’s lawyers expressed disappointment over the observations of the IHC and said that he would complete his arguments in three days.

Meanwhile, the CEC adjourned the hearing till next week.

Talking to journalists outside the ECP office in Islamabad, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the party has no objection to the scrutiny of his party’s funds but the ECP should summon other political parties as well.

“There is nothing in the case. Our all funds are legal,” said Qureshi, adding that the scrutiny committee exceeded its mandate. “We received funds with the cooperation of people but did not loot the national treasury,” he added.

The PTI leader hoped that other parties will also be weighed on the same scale the PTI is being weighed.

For his part, PTI leader and former minister of state for communication Farrukh Habib said that the PTI will file an intra-court appeal challenging the IHC’s order.

On the other hand, Akbar S Babar, the petitioner, told journalists that the IHC’s ruling will take the case to its logical end.

He said that if funding from prohibited sources is proved, then it will affect the PTI and its chairman.

IHC orders to wrap up case in 30 days

On April 14, the IHC ordered the ECP to wrap up the foreign funding case of the PTI within 30 days.

The orders were issued by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on applications filed by the PTI asking for Akbar S Babar’s separation from the case, the dismissal of the case, and keeping the PTI documents secret.

The PTI had challenged the ECP’s applications seeking the exclusion of Babar, the petitioner, from the foreign funding case. It had also demanded that all records of the case, including the documents requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan, should not be shared with Babar, who had filed the case in November 2014.

However, the IHC ruled that the ECP’s role “is of important nature and same cannot be curtailed in any manner”. It noted that the body is a “supervisory, regulatory and administrative body under the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 to deal with the affairs of political parties, election and its results”.

It also noted that “no restriction could be imposed upon ECP to adopt any process of inquiry, investigation, scrutiny to reach out the mandate of assigned duty in terms of Article 17(3)”.

“If any of the party funding has been received through prohibited sources, it will affect the status of such political party including its chairman, therefore, it is necessary to dig out the truth, even petitioner being a political party is also under an obligation to maintain its dignity and integrity, which has a far-reaching effect in Pakistani society and if any foreign funding has been received contrary to law and mandate of the Constitution, the petitioner has to face the music,” said the judgment.

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Sindh schools winter vacations from Dec 22




KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday announced the winter vacation schedule for public and private educational institutions across the province.

According to a notification issued by the Sindh School, Education, and Literacy Department, the educational institutions in the province will observe winter vacation from December 22 to 31.

“In pursuance of decisions taken in the steering committee meeting, all public and private educational institutions under the administrative control of School Education and Literacy Department Government of Sindh shall remain closed w.e.f 22-12,023 to 31-12,023 for Winter Vacation.”

Sindh schools winter vacations from Dec 22

After the winter break, the educational institutions will reopen on Friday (January 1, 2024).  

Meanwhile, the new academic year in the public and private schools across Sindh will commence on April 15, 2024, and August 1, 2024, in the colleges.

The matriculation and intermediate exams will be started from the last week of May 2024, while the results will be announced on July 31 and the second week of August, respectively.

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COAS Gen Asim Munir meets Kuwaiti crown prince




  • PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to meet Kuwaiti crown prince today. 
  • Both army chief and PM are in Kuwait on official visit. 
  • PM Office says multiple MoUs expected to be signed during visit. 

Army chief General Asim Munir on Tuesday met Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as part of his official visit to the gulf country, reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The meeting was also attended by Caretaker Law Minister Ahmed Irfan Aslam, Pakistan Ambassador to Kuwait Malik Mohammad Farooq and other members of the delegation.

Meanwhile, PM Kakar has also arrived in Kuwait City after concluding the UAE visit and is expected to meet the crown prince today, the PM Office said on Wednesday.

The premier will also meet his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The PM office said that a number of memorandum of understanding (MoUs) will be signed for mutual cooperation in various sectors including manpower, information technology, minerals and mining, food security, energy and defence.

In UAE, Pakistan signed several MoUs worth multi-billion dollars in a range of areas on Monday to boost economic and strategic cooperation between the two countries, PM Kakar said.

The prime minister said with the signing of the MoUs, the bilateral economic and strategic relations had entered into a new era of bilateral cooperation.

Congratulating the people of Pakistan and the UAE, he said the foundation of friendship with Pakistan which was laid by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 1970s, had been taken forward by his son Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to a new era.

PM Kakar expressed the hope that the MoUs that were signed by the two countries would turn into tangible projects very soon.

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Haj 2024: Pakistanis to get ‘free SIMs with internet’




Caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Aneeq Ahmed said Tuesday that the government would provide free-of-cost mobile SIMs with roaming internet packages to Pakistanis performing Haj in 2024.

In conversation with a private news channel, the caretaker minister said abayas would also be given to female pilgrims, having a Pakistani flag on the backside, and 13kg suitcases would be given to all.

The minister called the reduction of around Rs100,000 in the Haj cost a “historic step” taken by the caretaker government, noting that a further Rs50,000 would be slashed and the amount would be refunded to the people in their accounts.

He said a new mobile application has been designed to assist pilgrims, which will provide navigation support and enable constant communication between pilgrims and relevant officials.

Initially available in English and Urdu, the application will later incorporate various regional languages, he said, adding, that the app would also provide digital training programmes to every pilgrim.

The minister also disclosed a project that Haj ministry, with the collaboration of the education ministry, has planned to convert city mosques into schools to enroll out-of-school children where the mosques’ imams would play a leading role.

The minister said that mosques will play their role as community centers in every city areas, adding that imams will resolve community issues as well after offering prayers.

He said that haj ministry is taking all four provinces on board and enhancing the connectivity of mosques.

While describing another project, the minister said that his ministry with the collaboration of the health ministry has another project in the works, in which medical clinics will also be part of mosques.

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