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January 15, 2021

ECP body asked to scrutinise two US cos in PTI foreign funding case

National

January 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) scrutiny committee was asked Thursday to scrutinise the official record of the two firms, registered on the instructions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan regarding the foreign funding case.

The demand was made by the petitioner Akbar S Babar’s lawyers Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah and Badar Iqbal Chaudhry, as the committee met for the second meeting here at the Election Commission Secretariat.

A day earlier, it was revealed that PTI's latest written response made a complete departure from earlier stance of denying any illegal funding from the US: Now PTI claims that if any funds were collected illegally through two US registered companies registered on Imran Khan's written instructions, the responsibility lies with their agents managing the two PTI LLCs 5975 and 6160.

It was learnt from sources that Babar’s lawyers again objected strongly to the PTI record and insisted that the record of the two companies registered on the instructions of the PTI chairman should be scrutinised and that they were being asked to scrutinise fake documents and made it clear that they were participating in the process in protest.

The scrutiny committee was asked to follow the ECP order, issued on August 27 last year to authenticate every evidence before it. The petitioner’s lawyers emphasised that the committee should not expect them to rubber stamp fake and forged documents, submitted by PTI.

In clear terms, the committee was asked to either accept or reject official evidence to bring some credibility into the scrutiny process. The panel will most likely resume its work on January 20 to deliberate on the authenticity issue before moving forward.

Meanwhile, the ruling PTI Chief Organiser Saifullah Nyazee had a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja here at the ECP Secretariat in the same building, where scrutiny was under way. There was no official word on the rendezvous from the ECP or PTI, notwithstanding the fact this correspondent tried some senior ECP officials but they did not respond to the calls or the SMS sent on their mobile phones. However, one commission official, on the condition of not being named, confirmed the meeting had taken place Thursday but he was not aware of what was the agenda.

This correspondent also tried to get comment from PTI chief organiser, who is considered No. 2. He even did not check the message sent on his WhatsApp number, asking what was the agenda of the meeting with the chief election commissioner.

It was being speculated that the development at this critical juncture could be very interesting in the backdrop of PDM plan to march to the ECP for early judgement in the foreign funding case.