Monday October 03, 2022

Foreign funding case: Perusal of PTI accounts resumes

By Our Correspondent
June 01, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The perusal of PTI accounts resumed on Monday after the Election Commission of Pakistan granted three extra days on the application of the petitioner of the foreign funding case and PTI founding member Akbar S Babar.

But the ECP persisted with its refusal to allow perusal of original PTI bank statements requisitioned on the instructions of State Bank of Pakistan -- a repeated demand made by the petitioner. It is pertinent to mention here that the ECP order was passed on May 25 to extend the perusal for three days, which would continue till Wednesday.

The perusal of PTI accounts had concluded on May 20, 2021, earlier as per the ECP order of April 14, 2021 allowing perusal for eight days. The petitioner, Akbar S Babar, has repeatedly alleged that hurdles were created by the Scrutiny Committee to avoid transparent probe of evidence and authentication of evidence.

However, there has been no reaction so far from the other side on this count. He had claimed that the perusal of original PTI bank statements was essential for credible fact finding as new evidence of more secret PTI bank accounts had surfaced during the perusal process.

He had complained in writing before the ECP on how the Scrutiny Committee allegedly tried to create hurdles in the perusal process by refusing laptops, bringing printouts, sharing piecemeal documents, and removing the only original PTI HBL bank statements presented for perusal on PTI verbal demands.

Later, after the perusal time was over, in chat with media persons, Babar criticised the decision of holding back original bank statements of PTI from the perusal process, saying revealing complete facts at this stage would only bring credibility to the scrutiny process and avoid further delays to an already delayed scrutiny process.

He questioned the logic and rationale of keeping the original PTI accounts secret. He said protection of fundamental rights was the responsibility of the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan.