Live telecast of important cases’ in ECP, courts a brilliant idea

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 06:00 PM, 21 Jan, 2021
Live telecast of important cases’ in ECP, courts a brilliant idea

Foreign funding allegedly received by various political parties from prohibited sources or enemy countries has become a major controversy these days. Parties in the government and opposition are claiming themselves innocent and holding their rivals responsible for committing serious crime.

In such a situation, Prime Minister Imran Khan has come up with a brilliant idea that will enable the nation to reach the truth.

Talking to journalists in South Waziristan on Wednesday, he called for an open/televised trial in the foreign funding case, which is being dealt with by the Election Commission of Pakistan

He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N leaders must also sit in the proceedings that should be be aired live. 

He said sources of all the parties’ funds should be made public. He claimed that PTI is the only party that has been involved in “political fundraising”. He said it was the turn of opposition parties to disclose the sources of their funds.

The foreign funding case was filed by a founding member of the PTI in November 2014.

As the case has not been decided for more than six years, the opposition parties have been staging protests and demanding the Election Commission of Pakistan to take action against the ruling party for its alleged involvement in illegal collection of foreign funding.  

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) convener Maulana Fazlur Rehman recently termed the foreign funding case “the biggest scandal in Pakistan’s political history” whose central character, he said, was none other than PM Khan.

The prime minister’s live telecasting idea of the proceedings in the ECP is very logical and must be welcomed by all parties without a second thought.

Although the ECP said on Thursday that foreign funding case was already open to media, the prime minister should go ahead with his idea.

In fact it will be in the national interest if the government just implements it in courts too – without waiting for any reaction from the opposition parties.

The mechanism will expose the parties using delaying tactics or wanting to get cases decided at the earliest. 

Needless to point out that our justice system is hostage to lawyers of complainants as well as respondents. To justify their fees they use all kinds of tactics to delay matters. And to please their clients sometimes they stay away from courts, feigning engagement in other courts.

Sometimes their clients don’t appear in court because of one reason or the other.

When all parties are there the judge proceeds on leave – because of which the matter is adjourned to some future date.

What Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed will take care of all these situations in courts.

Televised proceedings will keep the nation informed of what is happening in the ECP or courts and which party is using what tactics to delay a matter or get it decided. People are intelligent enough to reach the heart of the matter in the light of the televised proceedings. 

The government should not just confine the televised proceedings idea to foreign funds lying with the ECP. In the larger national interest, proceedings of all important cases in courts, especially those having political ramifications, should also be telecast live. 

It will be appreciated by the nation if cases against Imran Khan, PML-N, PPP leaders and allegations against JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman are included in the list. People have the right to know the conduct of their leaders in courts and in public.  

Steps necessary for switching over to new mode should be taken without delay. This means necessary legislative measures or judges’ nod should be taken as quickly as possible.

There are many important cases pending with the Supreme Court and high courts whose outcome is being awaited by general public. There are also countless TV channels which will be interested in telecasting the proceedings of such cases.

A party that is committed to providing quick and inexpensive justice should implement the premier’s idea immediately.