Pakistan Muslim League (N), through Senator Ishaq Dar, has registered a complaint with Election Commission of Pakistan against Telenor Pakistan for supporting a specific political party without naming it.
PML (N), in a letter to ECP, said that Telenor Pakistan has allocated funds for promoting and funding the election campaign of a political party.
In response, SECP has sought Telenor Pakistan’s response on the complaint to clarify that it has not violated Section 197 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 which prohibits a company to contribute from its funds any amount for political purposes.
Telenor is currently in process of submitting a response to SECP to clarify its position.
A Telenor Pakistan spokesperson, while communicating with ProPakistani, said:
Telenor Pakistan is a responsible corporate citizen of Pakistan and has always respected and abided by the laws of the land. Telenor Pakistan has never had any political inclination and has never supported any political party, political campaign or political personality, financially or otherwise.
Telenor Pakistan’s corporate resources have not at any time whatsoever been utilized to fund or promote any political party or any political purposes.
Djuice is the first telecommunication youth brand of Pakistan and its tagline is “Khamoshi Ka Boycott”. Djuice being a brand for the youth has always been taking the initiative to launch campaigns that are relevant and close to the hearts of the youth.
The Telenor Djuice “Angootha Chalao Campaign” (“Campaign”) is a neutral campaign and in line with the spirit of the brand and merely encourages the youth to vote and does not in any way promote or encourage the funding and/or the interests of any particular political party or group.
It merits mentioning here that Telenor Pakistan once tweeted (produced below) about PTI’s jalsa in Karachi and supported PTI’s stance. This tweet was soon deleted and never happened again after we had highlighted it.
It maybe recalled that businesses in Pakistan — as per law — can’t support political parties directly or indirectly. Election Commission of Pakistan has this rule clearly mentioned on its website, which says:
Any contribution made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign government, multi-national or domestically incorporated public or private company, firm, trade or professional association shall be prohibited and the parties may accept contributions and donations only from individuals.