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January 14, 2021

Foreign funding case: PTI says responsibility lies with agents if funds collected illegally

Top Story

January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in its latest written response to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s scrutiny committee in the foreign funding case on Wednesday said that if any funds were collected illegally, the responsibility lied with the agent(s).

The Election Commission had recently expressed concern over the delay in scrutiny of the funding-related documents and directed the committee to expedite its work and hold meetings thrice in a week and finish the task as early as possible, which was underway since March 2018.

The foreign funding case was filed in November 2014 by Akbar S Babar. After a brief perusal of the PTI's response to the committee's questionnaire, the committee adjourned today (Thursday).

“Any contribution that has been collected by the agent which may be questionable would be beyond the scope of the work/responsibilities/instructions, given by the principal (respondent)…the principal admits only the receipts of funds and its detail, which have been transferred from the agent (PTI-USA LLC 5975/6160) and received by the principal…,” the written response says.

Sources said that the petitioner's lawyer Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah, assisted by Badar Iqbal Chaudhry, protested at the continued refusal of the committee to share the PTI financial documents with the petitioner. Ahmad Hassan Shah contended by refusing to share the documents, the committee was in violation of ECP Order, issued on May 30, 2018 that rejected the PTI plea of keeping these documents and the scrutiny process secret.

The lawyer emphasised that they were participating in the committee proceedings under protest as denying access to PTI bank statements and other documents was a violation of law and due process.

To this, the chairman of the committee acknowledged that the PTI bank statements and other documents were not being shared with the petitioner on the concerns of the PTI. The petitioner complained that how could there be an independent and transparent scrutiny and investigations when those being investigated were managing the process.