ECP rejects PTI request to not make foreign funding report public

Orders to provide copies of scrutiny report to all parties: Asad Umar says party's accounts are transparent: Ahsan Iqbal claims PTI lies stand

By: News Desk
Published: 12:48 PM, 4 Jan, 2022
ECP rejects PTI request to not make foreign funding report public
Caption: Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar talks to media outside ECP building.
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The committee formed to scrutinize the PTI accounts on Tuesday presented its report in the Election Commission of Pakistan. The chief election commissioner directed to give copies of the report to all the parties, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A three-member bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the PTI foreign funding case. 

Petitioner Akbar S Babar, PTI leaders Asad Umar and Amir Kiyani and the party’s lawyer Shah Khawar appeared before the commission. 

The scrutiny committee submitted its report to the commission.

Petitioner Akbar S Babar’s lawyer Hassan requested the commission to provide them the report of the scrutiny committee when it would become a record of the commission. He insisted to see the report and the ancillary material.

However, PTI lawyer Shah Khawar contested saying the report was only for the concerned parties. He requested the commission to not make the report public unless they would see it and make their comments. 

“Once we will submit our explanation, then the commission can make the scrutiny committee report public. Till then the commission is requested to make the report confidential,” Khawar added. 

He said let the scrutiny of the accounts of other parties be completed as their reports were in the final stages. Then the commission should make public reports of all political parties together, he suggested. 

One of the members of the commission remarked that it was not an in-camera hearing.

The chief election commissioner wondered how the reports of all parties could be combined.

The CEC ordered to provide copies of the report to all parties. 

The commission adjourned the hearing of the case till Jan 18. 

While talking to media after the ECP hearing, petitioner Akbar S Babar said that the foreign funding case was the case of Pakistan’s survival. He alleged that the PTI concealed details of 28 bank accounts and revealed only 6 international bank accounts. He claimed that the party did not present the record of even a single bank account. He wondered if the scrutiny committee failed after 29 months, was it logical to let it work!

On the other hand, talking to media outside the ECP building, PTI Planning and Development Minister asserted that the party had collected funds in a most transparent manner. He stated that standard of justice should be same for everyone.

“We have cooperated with the election commission. A committee has also been formed to scrutinize the accounts of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz),” he added.

Ahsan Iqbal claims PTI lies exposed

Meanwhile, speaking to the media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) building, PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal claimed that his party had concealed not a single bank account from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

On the other hand, he said, the foreign funding case had exposed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) much talked-about ‘transparency’. 

He further said that Prime Minister Imran Khan employed delaying tactics so that the case could be prolonged and the truth could be prevented from coming out. “Imran Khan Niazi has looted people by disguising himself as an ‘honest’ person. He patronized the sugar, flour, furnace oil, stock market and foreign currency mafias,” he alleged.

Ahsan went on to add that if the PTI was so sure that there was nothing wrong with the funds the party had received, then why it was requesting the election commission not to make the scrutiny committee’s report public

The PML-N leader was of the view that the ruling party had committed the ‘fraud’ which had no parallel in the country’s entire history. “The request filed by the PTI against the PML-N in the ECP, seeking declaration of the latter’s bank accounts, is akin to those ‘cross FIRs’ which are normally registered in our villages by murderers against the deceased’s families in order to hush up their crime,” he commented.  

He claimed that the PTI had not provided a single proof to the election commission so far to substantiate its claim that the PML-N had some secret accounts or the party had received funds from ‘suspicious’ elements.

Reporter Usman Khan