In compliance with the Supreme Court order, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) submitted its report to the apex court on Thursday regarding the decision on the Faizabad sit-in.
In its report, the ECP said, “As per the records already submitted by respondent no. 3 [TLP] Because the party is not involved in any terrorist activity and is not banned.”
“Our view is that the answer was not given. 3 [TLP]Is not involved in any anti-state activity or terrorism, hence the instant case is disposed of as withdrawn at this stage.
In the last hearing on September 28, a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faiz Isa was hearing review petitions against the verdict delivered by TLP in 2017 on the Faizabad sit-in against then Pakistan. The Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had expressed displeasure over non-implementation of the years-old order and directed all parties to submit their written replies by October 27.
The review petitions were filed by the Defense Ministry, IB, PTI, Pemra, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Ijazul Haq.
During the proceedings, CJP Isa expressed displeasure after several petitioners seeking review of the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict against the Faizabad strike decided to withdraw their petitions.
The Chief Justice commented, “Why is everyone so scared?”
“I am surprised at the request of the petitioners to withdraw their petitions,” the CJP remarked. He said he wanted to give time to the petitioners as he had adjourned the hearing till November 1.
In short, before adjourning the hearing, the CJP told the parties that their decision to withdraw their petition meant that they had accepted the Supreme Court’s order as true. “Now is your chance to stand up for the truth.”
The election watchdog in its report said the Commission issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs, NACTA and others to submit a comprehensive report regarding the involvement of TLP in anti-state activities.
After examining the reports, the Commission came to the conclusion that the party was not involved in any terrorist activity.
Moving on to the sources of funding of the TLP, the Commission said that after hearing the party, it decided to hand over the investigation of the consolidated statements of accounts of the TLP to an investigation committee.
“We have also carefully examined this requirement in the light of the arguments of learned counsel. We have no reason to stop this and it was remarked by the Committee that such a small amount was obtained through restricted foreign funding. For a political party like the respondent, such Rs 1,586,324 was very less. If it was suspicious, the party could have suppressed it,” read the report.
A three-member SC bench will resume hearing the case on November 1.