PTI again denies receiving funds from ‘prohibited’ sources

Says it only received funds from Pakistanis; not from multinationals: Akbar Babar says he is hopeful ECP will decide in his favour

By: News Desk
Published: 03:33 PM, 17 May, 2022
PTI again denies receiving funds from ‘prohibited’ sources
Caption: Representational image.
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The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday strongly rejected the allegation of receiving foreign funding from prohibited sources, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

During the hearing of the party’s foreign funding case in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Anwar Mansoor, PTI’s counsel, said that all the funds the party had received from abroad were from Pakistanis. 

A three-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the case. 

PTI’s counsel argued that only the funding received from multinational companies should be considered ‘prohibited’. “None of the funds the party has received from the USA is from any prohibited source,” he said. 

He went on to say that the ECP’s scrutiny committee had rejected the documents submitted by both the PTI and Akbar S. Babar, the petitioner in the case. “But the committee did not inform us of the reasons for rejecting these papers,” he said. 

Advocate Mansoor was of the view that the committee could not do so since it did not have any forensic expert in it. “The committee’s report is not that by a forensic expert, but by an auditor,” he contended. 

Counsel for the PTI strongly rejected the claim that Dubai-based Wootton Cricket Club and Bristol company were multinational firms.     

Quoting Wootton Cricket Club’s owner Arif Naqvi, Advocate Mansoor said that the club belonged to him and him alone, and was no means a multinational firm.

Giving details of the funds received from Europe, he said Kareem Saadat and Waseem Muhammad both sent over 1, 000 Euros each to the party, while Nauman Ali had sent 495 Euros. “Over 33, 000 Euros were sent to the PTI during the years, 2012-13,” he disclosed.

He said only from Sweden and Switzerland, 4026 Euros were received. “And the money from both these countries was deposited in the party’s bank accounts by individuals; and not by firms,” he clarified.     

PTI’s counsel told the commission that E-Plant was the name of a Trust, and not of a company. 

The ECP adjourned hearing of the case until tomorrow (Wednesday, May 18, 2022). 

Later, talking to the media, Akbar S. Babar, the petitioner in PTI foreign funding case, expressed the optimism that at the end of the day he would succeed. “Tomorrow, PTI members will submit to the ECP details of their bank accounts,” he said. 

Babar said he was sure that PTI Chairman Imran Khan would now try to pressure the ECP, the Supreme Court and the ‘establishment’ in order to get the decisions of his choice. “Politics of confrontation will destroy Pakistan,” he said, and stressed the need for saving the country’s economy.    

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) adjourned hearing of the intra-court appeal filed against the court order of deciding the PTI foreign funding case until May 30. 

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the PTI’s concerns over the court order were genuine, since it gave the impression that only one party was being singled out. “The party’s demand for the provision of a level playing field was genuine. Deciding foreign funding case of any party before others will have implications for the country’s politics,” he observed.  

Reporter: Rozeena Ali