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PTI foreign funding case: ECP reserves verdict

CEC says no qualms about what people are saying, decision would be as per justice

The Election Commission of Pakistan has reserved its verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) foreign funding case.

The case was filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, and has been pending since Nov 2014.

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Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, presiding over the hearing today, said that ECP had no qualms about the conversation regarding the body and the case would be decided as per justice.

Arsalan Wardak, the financial expert for petitioner Akbar Babar, stated during the hearing that PTI’s donor lists were missing details. He said that the party received funds from 13 countries and there existed no record of the Rs20 million received at the party chairman’s office.

The petitioner’s counsel told that there were 11 hidden accounts from which Rs57 million remittance was made and the scrutiny committee was provided with incomplete details of companies set up abroad. He also claimed that the details regarding donors for the year 2013 were not submitted. The PTI lawyer replied that these details had been submitted before the ECP a few days ago.

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ECP scrutiny committee, in its report on January 4, had claimed that PTI hid funds worth of millions of rupees and false information had been provided to the ECP. According to the report submitted, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had revealed that PTI received Rs1.64 billion in its funding.

According to the report, PTI failed to disclose funds worth more than Rs310 million.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said that it was duty of the election commission to restore the trust of voters and thus strengthen democracy. He praised and thanked the parties for providing details and cooperating.

The date of verdict announcement has not yet been revealed by the election watchdog.

The financial expert from Akbar S Babar’s side claimed during the proceedings that PTI funds had ignored audit principles and standards, claiming that the donors were from the party’s own companies instead of third parties.

Babar, during the hearing, said that for the first time any political party had provided details for its funding to the ECP, demanding that other political parties should also be made answerable.


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