Tuesday September 27, 2022

PTI delaying foreign funding case

March 15, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) apparently continued to impede the much awaited conclusion of the PTI foreign funding case by not filing its comments on the ECP Scrutiny Committee report, a copy of which was given to it on Jan 4, 2022.

Instead of filing its comments, PTI chose to file two applications using some portions of the Scrutiny Committee report. In its applications, PTI demanded exclusion of the petitioner and PTI founding member Akbar S Babar from the case and demanded keeping State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) requisitioned documents secret from the petitioner although those had already been shared with him.

Experts wonder how the PTI applications would be considered in isolation of the Scrutiny Committee report that remained to be discussed and argued upon by both parties. On the last hearing on March 1, 2022, PTI again committed to file its comments to the Scrutiny Committee report within two days but it had not been done so far.

On January 18, the ECP ordered the release of the complete Scrutiny Committee report including all the enclosures which were kept secret by the Scrutiny Committee. During the same hearing, PTI appointed a new lawyer for the ninth time who sought a few days to review the Scrutiny Committee report and file the comments in a few days.

Again on Feb 1, 2022 the ECP hearing was adjourned till February 9 on PTI lawyer’s health grounds. On February 9, PTI lawyer requested another adjournment in the case till March 1, 2022.

The ECP Cause List of the hearing on March 1, 2022 said that the comments of both parties on the Scrutiny Committee would be heard on that day. However, the PTI lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan insisted that the two applications filed by PTI on selected parts of the same Scrutiny Committee report be discussed first.

On March 1, 2022, the complainant filed detailed comments on the Scrutiny Committee report and the records requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan while PTI continued to delay filing its comments despite repeated verbal commitments made by it before the ECP since January 4, 2022 when the report was handed over to it.

The latest verbal commitment was made on March 1, 2022 when the PTI lawyer committed to file comments within two days. However, it was learnt from ECP sources that PTI had not filed comments on the report so far.