ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday tendered an unconditional apology to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for making contentious remarks in a review application filed before the ECP but refused to submit financial accounts of the party.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry claimed that the written apology had nothing to do with the party chief as he was not aware when the review application was being filed. And he had no knowledge about the apology.
However, former PTI leader Akbar S. Babar, who was once close to Mr Khan but now has filed a petition over alleged foreign funding of the party, claimed that the lawyer Saqlain Haider Awan sought time for consultation with his client and, after completion of the hearings, submitted the written apology.
During the hearing of the case before the full bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza, the commission took exception to the remarks made by Imran Khan alleging ‘bias’ in favour of the petitioner for ‘extraneous reasons, including political.’
Mr Khan had filed the review application on Jan 9 against the ECP’s Dec 1, 2016 order to produce the PTI financial documents before the commission.
In the review application, the ECP was accused of acting on the basis of political bias while ordering production of bank statements and other financial documents of the PTI. It demanded that the ECP should set aside its order and adjourn the case until the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decided the PTI petition challenging the jurisdiction of the commission to scrutinise the party’s accounts.
In the written apology, the lawyer has requested for deletion of the remarks.
Talking to Dawn, the PTI spokesperson said that advocate Anwar Mansoor’s junior lawyer appeared before the ECP which directed him to submit a written apology and he did so.
“I believe that the ECP should not have fixed the date for hearing as the IHC has issued a stay order in this regard,” Mr Babar said.
The PTI’s counsel told the ECP about the stay order by failed to produce a copy of it when asked by the commission, he added.