Tuesday September 27, 2022

PTI funding case: Auditors barred from bringing data printouts

By Our Correspondent
May 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan’s scrutiny committee on Wednesday barred the auditors from bringing along printouts of the data manually collected the previous day in relation to perusal of PTI foreign funding case.

The other day, a volume of PTI intra-party election was put before the petitioner Akbar S Babar’s auditors and removed after strongly agitated by them. It was learnt from the sources that Babar protested that this was unacceptable: Firstly, the Committee refused to allow laptops during perusal, now they were even refusing printouts of data collected manually and he insisted that the Committee could not be allowed to make a farce of the perusal process.

“Such a move would compromise the integrity of the perusal process. Now there is no doubt that the perusal process is being conducted on the whims of PTI, which makes a sad reflection on the ECP, a constitutional body,” he was quoted as saying in the committee.

Babar then complained to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja just when he was about to leave office, who promised redress of the genuine grievance. Earlier, the manual perusal of PTI accounts continued for the third day Wednesday. The start of the process was delayed for an hour as ECP representatives supervising the process were busy in internal meetings. However, interestingly, the original PTI HBL bank statements presented for perusal Monday, and then suddenly removed on the orders of the Law DG on PTI protests were not part of the documents presented for perusal.

It was also learnt that the laborious manual perusal was excruciatingly slow as the two financial analysts Arsalan Vardag and Mohammad Sohaib representing the petitioner have to manually record data from volumes and volumes and subsequently upload it on computers for analysis.

The petitioner had protested the decision of the Committee and the ECP not to allow the use of laptops during perusal process and termed it an illogical that only impedes the long-delayed scrutiny process. The committee will now meet on May 7.