ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal):- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved the verdict in the PTI foreign funding case after the pending of eight years.
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja conducted a hearing on the case at ECP, Islamabad and reserved the verdict..
During the hearing, petitioner Akbar S. Babar stated that the principles and standards of audit in PTI funds have been ignored, donors are not third party. , PTI leadership has own made these companies.
On this occasion, Akbar S. Babar said that for the first time any political party is giving details of funding in the Election Commission, every political party should be accountable before the Election Commission.
On this, the Chief Election Commissioner said that he thanked the political parties on both sides. The case of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been finalized. The cases of other political parties should also be ended, the confidence of the voters should be restored. The country should be strengthened democratically.
Later, the ECP reserved its decision and no timeline has been given by the Chief Election Commissioner for announcement of the case.
It should be noted that PTI prohibited foreign funding case has been pending for 8 years.
It is pertinent to mention here that the case was filed in the Election Commission on November 14, 2014 by Akbar S. Babar, a founding member of PTI.
The case was filed in the Election Commission on November 14, 2014 by Akbar S. Babar, a founding member of PTI. During the hearing, PTI sought adjournment for 30 times and it has filed six petitions that the commission can’t hear the case or the case is outside the jurisdiction of the Election Commission. The PTI has changed lawyers almost nine times.
The Election Commission has directed to PTI 21 times to submit the financial record and supportive documents.
The Commission had formed Scrutiny Committee on March 2018 to review the details of foreign funding of PTI. Out of total 95 meetings of the scrutiny committee, the PTI has sought adjournment for 24 times and 4 times, it has filed petition against the presence of petitioner in the case. The Committee has issued directions 20 times for submitting relevant evidence to proceed the case.
The Election Commission rejected the report submitted by the Scrutiny Committee in August 2020 saying that the report is incomplete and not detailed. The Scrutiny Committee submitted its final report to the Election Commission on January 4, 2022. The 8 volumes obtained through State Bank of Pakistan regarding Bank statement were kept secret and 8 volumes were handed over to Akbar S. Babar on the direction of Election Commission.
According to the report, the PTI did not disclose the amount of Rs. 310 million in the documents submitted to the Election Commission. Funds were received from other countries, including the Netherlands and Finland.
The scrutiny committee gave a questionnaire to PTI regarding details of funding from the US and other countries but did not give a clear answer. PTI did not give access to foreign accounts.
PTI did not disclose the accounts of MCB, Bank of Punjab and Bank of Khyber in the statements whereas according to SBP data, PTI has 26 bank accounts in Pakistan.
PTI hid 14 bank accounts between 2008 and 2013. In response to the scrutiny committee report, PTI disassociated itself from 11 accounts and said that they were opened illegally.
These accounts were opened by Asad Qaiser, Shah Farman, Imran Ismail, Mahmood Rasheed, Ahad Rasheed, Samar Ali Khan, Seema Zia, Najeeb Haroon, Jahangir Rehman, Khalid Masood, Naeem ul Haq and Zafarullah Khattak.