ISLAMABAD— The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its judgment in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) prohibited funding case.
A three-member bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the case today where a financial expert briefed the ECP bench on behalf of the petitioner Akbar S Babar – PTI’s founding member.
The petitioner Babar said that the scrutiny of PTI’s bank accounts would have continued for another four years if the ECP had not shown its interest. He said that it was a defining moment to make the political parties accountable.
He also thanked the electoral body for allowing him to examine all records and claimed that he had no personal enmity behind filing the case.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja remarked that democracy is the most substantial thing for the country and stressed the need for consolidating it and restoring the confidence of the voter in the system.
CEC said that it was a matter of national interest and cases against other political parties would also be filed soon, adding that the ECP would ensure that no political party faces discrimination.
‘PTI cannot be banned in prohibited funding case’
Talking to the media outside the ECP after the hearing, PTI leader Farrukh Habib said that the case related to funding received by PTI was not related to ‘foreign funding’ but ‘prohibited funding’ under which a political party could not be banned according to old or existing laws for political parties.
PTI leader said that the reports of the scrutiny committee regarding bank accounts of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) should be presented before the electoral body and there should be an open court hearing on it likewise PTI’s case.
He said that speculations ran rife that the case against PTI was related to foreign funding but ECP ultimately also endorsed that the case is not related to foreign funding but prohibited funding under which a political party cannot be banned according to the old and existing laws.
Habib said that the PTI has submitted the record of all transactions which came through banking channels while demanding the ECP to show impartiality and balance and conclude the cases of PPP and PML-N along with PTI.
He said that the scrutiny of the PTI’s accounts has been completed, adding that the PTI was the first party that laid the foundation of political fundraising.
He claimed that upon examination of the record, it was discovered that PPP had not disclosed 12 accounts and a record of Rs350 million. Along with it, he asserted that record Rs640 million funds raised by PML-N was also missing.
PTI leader said that the accounts of PTI are of “A-rated” nature by the charted accountants, adding that late Benazir Bhutto in her book accused PML-N of taking funds from Osama bin Laden to topple PPP government.
Habib said that it was also on record that JUI-F took funding from Libya, adding that their opponents have fallen into the pit they dug for the PTI.