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‘TLP is not involved in any terrorist activity’, ECP submits report in SC

The picture shows a general view of Supreme Court’s building. —APP/File

In compliance with the Supreme Court’s order, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday submitted its report on the implementation of its 2019 verdict in connection with the Faizabad sit-in as multiple review petitions were filed against the ruling.

In its report, the ECP said, “As per record already submitted respondent no.3 [TLP] as party is not involved in any terrorist activity and not proscribed.”

“We are of the view that responded no. 3 [TLP]is not involved in any anti-state activity or terrorism, hence at this stage the instant case is disposed of as withdrawn.”

In the last hearing on September 28, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led three-member bench — while hearing the review petitions against the verdict on the Faizabad sit-in staged by the TLP in 2017 against the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government — had expressed annoyance over the non-implementation of the years-old order and directed all the parties to submit their written replies by October 27.

The review petitions were filed by the Ministry of Defence, the IB, the PTI, the Pemra, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Mutta¬hida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Ejazul Haq.

During the course of proceedings, CJP Isa expressed annoyance after multiple petitioners seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict against the Faizabad sit-in decided to withdraw their pleas.

“Why everyone is so scared?,” the chief justice remarked.

“I am surprised over the petitioners request to call back their petitions,” the CJP remarked, noting that he wanted to give time to the petitioners as he adjourned the hearing till November 1.

Briefly, before adjourning the hearing, the CJP told the parties that their decision to withdraw their pleas meant that they had accepted the SC’s order to be true. “Now is your chance to stand with the truth.”

In its report, the electoral watchdog said that the commission issued notices to the Ministry of Interior, NACTA, and others for submission of a comprehensive report regarding the involvement of the TLP in anti-state activities.

After examining the reports, the commission reached the conclusion that the party was not involved in any terror activity.

Moving on to the sources of funding of TLP, the commission said that after hearing the party, it decided to entrust the scrutiny of consolidated statements of accounts of the TLP to a scrutiny committee.

“We have thoroughly examined this expect as well in the light of the arguments by the learned counsel. We have no reason to hold and so was it remarked by the committee that such small amount was received through prohibited foreign funding. For a political party like the respondent, such Rs1,586,324 was a peanuts. Hat it been dubious, the party could have suppressed,” read the report.

The three-member bench of the SC will resume hearing the case on November 1. 

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