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HomeNationalForeign funding case: PHC stops FIA from probing Asad Qaiser

Foreign funding case: PHC stops FIA from probing Asad Qaiser

PTI fails to get relief from IHC against FIA notices

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Thursday stopped the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from investigating PTI leader Asad Qaiser in the prohibited funding case.

The anti-corruption watchdog had summoned the former National Assembly speaker for questioning on Thursday but he refused to appear before the body as he had challenged its decision to summon him a day earlier. In a short order issued after Thursday’s hearing, the court prohibited the anti-corruption watchdog from investigating the ex-NA speaker till the next hearing. The court, in the order, asked the FIA what directions the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued to the body regarding the probe.

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The PHC asked the FIA whether the federal government asked it to probe the PTI leaders. It also asked the agency whether a probe under the Political Parties Order 2022 comes under the ambit of the body. The high court also asked the FIA whether the summoning of the former NA speaker was based on “malignant or whether it was politically influenced”.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday disposed of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against notices issued by the Federal Investigation Agency. The former ruling party had moved the court against the investigation agency for taking action following the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the prohibited funding case. Last week, IHC suspended the notices sent by the FIA and sought comments till August 10. The court also summoned FIA officials in person for the next hearing.

Acting Chief Justice Amir Farooq issued a four-page written decision on the matter. The judge ruled that the notices against which the application was filed have been implemented. After PTI secretariat employees responded to the notices and the inquiry in question took place, the application became ineffective, stated the judgment.

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The ruling noted that the petitioner’s counsel had pleaded that the notices were issued in violation of the court order and FIA circular; however, the court said that the FIA circular was issued only to the cyber-crime wing. Directing the FIA to provide the appropriate required information in its future notices, the court disposed of the petition. As the PTI could not get relief, the FIA is expected to continue its action against the party’s finance wing.

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