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Fawad urges ECP to make public foreign sources of funding of all political parties


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to make foreign sources of funding of all political parties public.

He said this while addressing a press conference in Islamabad flanked by State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib.

 

There is no record of donations of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said the minister, adding that no audit report of the party’s Punjab and K-P chapter has been provided either.

“[Former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif donated Rs100 million to PML-N and then PML-N returned Rs45 million back to him … they basically wanted to turn their black money white,” he added.

The information minister said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) spent Rs232 million during the 2018 general elections but it did not provide sources of such a huge amount.

“During PPP’s tenure, Husain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, used to collect funds for PPP from overseas Pakistanis.”

Fawad urged the ECP to start the scrutiny process from PML-N and PPP but should also include other parties including the JUI-F and TLP.

Ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the only party that had provided complete sourcing of its funding to the ECP, he claimed.

Talking about the upcoming local government elections in Punjab, Fawad said for the first time in the history of Pakistan, mayors would be directly elected in every district of the province. “They will be chief ministers in their respective districts,” he remarked.

He said despite differences within the party, Prime Minister Imran Khan fulfilled his promise of providing people with a robust local bodies system, adding that a schedule for the elections would soon be released.

He rejected ECP’s position that electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be used during the local elections, saying that there will be no problem in conducting them via EVMs at provincial level.

“ECP should take this (EVM) matter seriously now… if it is willing to work for it then the machines can be arranged within two months,” he said.

He said that the local government system of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa give the maximum powers to the local tier of the government.

Responding to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s statements in the Sindh Assembly, Fawad said that it was not appropriate for someone of his stature to give such statements. “He (Murad Ali Shah) often gives such statements which do not suit a chief minister of a province.”

TTP talks

Talking about talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Fawad said that the state was willing to move forward with those who agree to abide by the Constitution but for those, he added, who are not willing to comply, “we have fought them in the past and can do the same in future too”.

He said that the state has no confusion with regards to TLP and all similar outfits as well.

The minister said that for the first time since 1964, Karachi was doing federal politics instead of regional.



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