Verdict in PTI foreign funding case reserved

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its verdict in the much-delayed prohibited funding case — previously referred to as the foreign funding case — against the PTI.

The case, which was filed by party founding member Akbar S Babar, has been pending since Nov 14, 2014. Babar, who is no longer associated with PTI, had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.

The PTI has denied any wrongdoing, and maintains the funding is not from prohibited sources.

A bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja presided over today’s hearing. CEC Raja remarked that the case against the PTI had concluded, adding that the electoral watchdog also wanted to conclude the cases against other political parties.

He went on to say that the ECP wanted to restore voter confidence and strengthen the country democratically. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commission reserved its verdict in the case but CEC Raja said that the respondents could be summoned again if need be.

During today’s hearing, petitioner Babar’s financial expert, Arsalan Wardak, pointed out that it was an “established fact” that money was received from Britain. He also highlighted that no one was aware of the origins of the money received from Canada.

“Funds were received from Wootton Cricket Limited for which the registration number has been provided. Another $49,000 dollars were received from another company in the United Arab Emirates,” he said, adding that the PTI did not deny receiving these funds.

The financial expert also highlighted that the donor lists were missing several details. “The PTI received funds from 13 countries […] There is no record of the Rs20 million received at the PTI chairman’s office,” he said.

Wardak said that 41 of the 50 banks did not respond to the scrutiny committee’s inquiries, pointing out the possibility of more accounts existing. The PTI ignored the principles and the standards of auditing, he alleged.

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