Pak Election body rejects Imran Khan govt's plea to block document exposing party's foreign funding

Sun Online Desk

30th April, 2021 01:54:00 printer

Pak Election body rejects Imran Khan govt's plea to block document exposing party's foreign funding

The Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) inquiry panel on Tuesday dismissed an application filed by the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to review the electoral body's decision to allow estranged party leader Akbar S Babar access to the documents related to the ruling party's foreign funding case.

It also barred auditors from using laptops while reviewing papers related to foreign funding case, reported The Express Tribune.

The committee stopped Babar's team of auditors from using laptops during the proceedings as it has been permitted to only review the documents in the presence of the members of the body and denied permission to take them in possession.

The estranged PTI leader then filed a petition with the ECP against the committee's decision contending that how would the auditors write down such a massive amount of data if the use of laptops was not allowed, reported The Express Tribune.

"The scrutiny committee is itself an obstacle to the scrutiny process," he added.

"It's not possible to take down all the notes by hand and the laptops were for convenience."

The commission was hearing PTI's application for an investigation into the accounts of political parties.

Earlier this year, the PTI lawyer had submitted "complete details" of the party funding to the inquiry committee and expressed the hope that ruling party would be "honourably acquitted" in the case.

On the other hand, petitioner Babar raised objections over the investigation by the scrutiny committee saying the panel wanted to dispose of the matter in haste.

He alleged that the inquiry panel was trying to "protect" the ruling party and added that the ECP had also expressed no confidence in it in the past.

The petitioner also announced that he would write a book on the action taken by the scrutiny committee.

Earlier in September 2020, the ECP had rejected the scrutiny panel's report against the PTI as "incomplete".

The committee, headed by ECP director general (law), was formed in March 2018 to complete audit of PTI accounts for the period 2009-13 in a month's time. Later, its term was extended. The ECP on June 2, 2020 gave a final deadline to the committee for report submission by August 17. Subsequently, the committee concluded scrutiny on August 13, reported The Express Tribune.

The foreign funding case against PTI continues to linger before the ECP since November 2014 when it was filed by the party's founding member Akbar S Babar.

Babar alleged serious financial irregularities in the ruling party's accounts including illegal sources of funding, concealment of bank accounts in the country and abroad, money laundering, and using private bank accounts of PTI employees as a front to receive illegal donations from the Middle East.


Source: ANI