‘PTI foreign funding case worst kind of fraud’, Maryam tells PDM protesters
ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties, united under Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), are protesting outside the office of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Islamabad today against a 'delayed' verdict by the authority in the foreign funding case involving the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, addressing the protesters, said the foreign finding case involving the ruling PTI is the 'worst kind of fraud', saying Prime Minister Imran Khan cannot blame his 'agents' for the wrongdoing when he knew about it.
"Why did [Prime Minister] Imran Khan attempt numerous times to influence the case and have its proceedings stopped when he, according to him, hadn't done anything wrong," Maryam asked while addressing Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) rally outside the Election Commission's office in Islamabad today.
"Why has the ECP been delaying the foreign funding case for the past six months," she asked and added that the authority is responsible for having an 'ineligible' person 'selected' as the premier.
"It was India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Israel who funded Imran Khan and that's what the foreign funding is all about. How is it that [PM] Imran has only realized about the wrongdoing now when he has been caught," alleged the daughter of the former prime minister.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the incumbent rulers will not find a way to escape when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will launch its long march against them.
"Those in power selected an ineligible person for the top slot and imposed him on the masses," he said. "Those elements had the sole agenda of appointing him so they could progress with their plans."
"This government doesn't know how to run the country or its economy, and it is completely devoid of such abilities."
Fazl-ur-Rehman further said, "the incumbent rulers took foreign funds to come into power," adding, "today's protest is only a glimpse of what will be happening later."
The JUI-F chief also announced a 'large protest' at Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh on February 5 against the PTI-led government on the sidelines of the rallies in support of Kashmiris.
"If the ECP still decides to support an ineligible government and its team, then we cannot have faith in the authority in the future."
"We will continue to protest against this government until its dismissed," he remarked.
Meanwhile, addressing a presser at the Press Information Department (PID), Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry downplayed the attendance in the PDM's rally, while also saying that JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman should stop dreaming about assuming power.
Addressing the protesters before Fazl and Maryam's appearance on the stage, PPP’s veteran leader Raja Pervez Ashraf demanded that the prime minister be dismissed from power. “Authorities must bring those who take funds from abroad under accountability.”
“We believe in the supremacy of the Constitution, law, and democracy, and we believe in their rule, but there must be an immediate decision in the foreign funding case.”
The protest is spearheaded by Jamiat UIma-e-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while the Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) supporters are led by the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and PPP's senior leader Raja Pervez Ashraf, respectively, Express News reported.
'No hurdles for protesters'
Meanwhile, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the government has not created any hurdles for the protesters. He added that the uninterrupted traffic on Islamabad's roads were proof of Prime Minister's association with democracy.
CEC summons meeting
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja has summoned a meeting of the ECP's officials to mull upon the security measures to be taken in view of the protest. During the meeting, the CEC will be briefed about the ongoing situation. ECP officials, secretary, and other high-ups will be in attendance during the huddle.
More than 1,000 police personnel will be providing security to ECP office, while the central entry point at Shahrah-e-Dastoor leading to the venue has been blocked with barbed wires and other barriers. According to details, the protesters will not be allowed to enter the ECP office premises or its parking area.
The authorities have also increased the number of security cameras outside the building. The protesters will have to park their vehicles at the Convention Center's parking and then walk towards the ECP office, while the details of alternate routes for the traffic have also been released.
On Monday, the government made public the judgments against Pakistan in the Broadsheet case and revealed that the major portion of the money was paid to the asset recovery firm in connection with the foreign assets of the Sharif family.
The opposition holds the stance that the ECP has been delaying a decision in the foreign funding case because it involves the ruling party. On January 16, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif termed Prime Minister Imran Khan 'a criminal', saying the latter was wrongfully blaming his agents in the UK for the wrongdoings in the foreign funding case.