PTI asked to submit details of UAE funds

Scrutiny committee starts compiling implementation report on investigation conducted so far


Saqib Virk March 19, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to submit details regarding funds received from its four United Arab Emirates (UAE) employees and started compiling an implementation report on the investigation conducted so far.

The scrutiny committee meeting, chaired by director general law, was held to investigate the PTI’s foreign funding. The issue of receiving party funds in the bank accounts of PTI employees was discussed.

According to sources, the scrutiny committee sought details from the PTI of its four UAE employees as well as details of funds received in their names.

The scrutiny committee will submit an implementation report on the PTI’s foreign funding to the ECP. The commission has sought an implementation report from the committee on March 22.

The ECP will also hear the illegal funding case against the PTI on the same day for which a notice has also been issued to the ruling party.

Read more: PTI demanding ECP to resign to evade foreign funding verdict: Abbasi

The ECP will also decide on the request of Akbar S Babar, a founding member of the PTI, whether the details of the PTI accounts should be handed over to the petitioner or not.

Talking to media after the meeting, petitioner Babar said that the aim of the PTI is to get rid of this case.

“I will always be a member of the PTI,” he said. “I am a PTI member as per the decision of the high court.”

He said that the committee has not yet decided on the next date of hearing, adding that the money that came into the accounts of the employees should be investigated. He reiterated his demand that all the accounts of the employees should be obtained through the State Bank of Pakistan, saying that the PTI has admitted that the money in the employees' accounts does not have a record.

Separately, the Supreme Court on Thursday admitted the appeal of Prime Minister Imran Khan against petitioner Akbar S Babar in the foreign funding case for a preliminary hearing. A notice has been issued to Babar seeking a reply.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, heard the appeal against the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Premier Imran’s lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan apprised the bench that Imran Khan had no objection to the scrutiny committee of the ECP, but Babar had been expelled from the PTI before the case was filed, and that the ECP had no authority to declare Babar a party member.

He said that the IHC has upheld the decision of the ECP, adding that it is up to the civil court to decide who’s a party member and who’s not.

“The ECP is not a court or tribunal … we object to Babar's participation in the scrutiny committee proceedings,” the lawyer said, adding that the scrutiny committee is doing its job and the party has no objection.

Justice Alam asked when was Babar expelled from the party … and how can you say that he cannot file a petition?

The lawyer replied that Babar was removed from the PTI on September 26, 2011, and the scrutiny committee should hold in-camera proceedings.

Meanwhile, Babar's lawyer said that the notice of expulsion from the party was not presented at any forum.

On this, Justice Yahya Afridi said, “You are being given a notice to submit a written reply.”

Later, the court adjourned the case hearing indefinitely.

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