Pakistan’s government is seeking a ban on former premier Imran Khan’s political party after the country’s election commission ruled that it received illegal funding from overseas.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party got money from the US, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, the Election Commission of Pakistan said Tuesday. Pakistani law bars foreign nationals and companies from funding political parties. Khan has denied any wrongdoing.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration will start legal proceedings looking to ban Khan’s party from politics, Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said at a press conference in Islamabad.
Khan and his party can challenge the commission’s ruling in the supreme court. A decision on what punishment the party faces rests with the top court.
The party will provide any details or explanation the election commission requests, PTI spokesman Farrukh Habib told reporters.
The decision is a blow to the former premier, who has been calling for early elections after being ousted in a parliament vote by Sharif’s party earlier this year. The election commission’s inquiry followed a case filed by a former aide of Khan, Akbar Babar, who alleged the party’s finances included undeclared foreign funding.
Pakistan’s currency fell more than 14% against the dollar in July, the biggest monthly slide since Bloomberg started compiling data in 1989. A shortage of dollars and concerns that prolonged political uncertainty may delay an IMF bailout are seen as the main factors behind the decline. Authorities have said they expect rupee to strengthen in the next few months.