Foreign funding case: ECP seeks timeframe from PTI lawyer to complete arguments

Three-member bench adjourns hearing of case until today

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s lawyer to complete his arguments in the foreign funding case as soon as possible while demanding a timeframe for the completion of his arguments.

The directive came as a three member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja took up the case.

The commission expressed its displeasure over the late arrival of the PTI financial expert at the commission.

Besides, PTI lawyer Anwar Maqsood and petitioner Akbar S Babar also appeared before the court.

During the hearing, Najam Shah briefed the bench on the party’s transactions and sought adjournment of the case.

The PTI financial expert told the commission that the PTI had nothing to do with seven accounts as mentioned by the State Bank of Pakistan. He said main transactions were occurred in only five bank accounts, the audit for which had already been done.

He said no transaction was done in many accounts done. The party came to know about these accounts later on and then the party closed these accounts, he added.

He went on to say that the scrutiny committee in its report showed transactions of an amount several times and also did overstatement amounting to millions of rupees.

“Because of the wrong calculation of the scrutiny committee in 2012-13, an extra amount of Rs140.64 million was added to the transactions.

The PTI lawyer requested the court to adjourn the case. But Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja rejected his plea saying the case had already been facing delay and the commission would not permit any further postponement.

The CEC said that an impression was being created that the case was deliberately put on hold asking the PTI lawyer to tell the court about party’s financial transactions by tomorrow.

Contesting the haste being shown by the CEC, PTI lawyer Anwar Mansoor said that the party’s reputation was put at stake internationally because of the case.

After this, the commission adjourned the hearing of the case till today.

Later, talking to the media, Akbar S Babar said the PTI had again sought time to further drag the case.

He said PTI counsel argued that the party was unaware of the opening of the accounts.

He added that Imran Khan was hiding in Peshawar after announcing “jihad”. “He (Imran) wanted to use Pashtuns to serve his ulterior motives.”