The ECP’s damaging judgement held PTI chief Imran Khan responsible for violating Pakistan’s laws while collecting party funds from foreign nationals and foreign-based companies. The ECP’s verdict exposed his claims of adherence to law, honesty and integrity. What is more it generated pressures on the PTI leadership from different quarters. The ECP has issued a notice to Mr Khan, summoning him on August 23 in the prohibited funding case. The coalition government has sent a reference to the ECP seeking the PTI chairman’s disqualification for failure to mention the amount received by him after selling Toshakhana gifts in his tax returns. Meanwhile the FIA is questioning employees of the party’s central secretariat who were allowed to receive funds from within Pakistan and abroad in their personal accounts.
The PTI chief thinks the ruling alliance and the establishment are baying for his blood. Drawing on a siege mentality, he wants millions to turn out to back him in his fight. Former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry has announced staging a big public gathering in Islamabad where according to him the party will give a deadline to the government for the announcement of general elections. He has demanded dissolution of assemblies in a month. To show that he enjoys massive support from all over the country, Khan has announced that he alone would contest on all the nine vacant NA seats in bye-elections scheduled next month in Punjab, KP and Sindh.
Imran Khan is no doubt a crowd puller. But the problems he faces cannot be resolved by fiery speeches delivered in public gatherings. The judiciary and the military establishment have already rejected r Khan’s narrative of his government’s fall being an outcome of a foreign conspiracy. Now he is confronting ECP which accuses him of blatant disregard of the country’s laws while the government has approached the ECP seeking IK’s disqualification under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution for hiding his income from the sale of Toshakhana gifts. What can save Imran Khan is sound legal defence. Khan needs to realize that Pakistan’s Penal Code does not have separate laws for celebrities, be they actors, models, sportsmen or politicians.