ISLAMABAD: The hearing scheduled on November 7 regarding the foreign funding case of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been postponed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
What is PTI Foreign Funding Case?
PTI foreign funding case refers to the case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in which the party is accused of receiving payments from Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, foreign Pakistanis, and their corporations. It is also called a prohibited funding case. The well-known Pakistani businessman Arif Masood Naqvi is one of these expatriate Pakistanis. According to the Wall Street Journal, he has also given money to Nawaz Sharif and his associates.
A former PTI member named Akbar S. Babar petitioned the Election Commission in 2014 alleging irregularities with party funding. He was one of the founding members of the PTI. The ECP’s inspection committee attended 96 court sessions on this matter. Seven years have passed since this convoluted case. Babar had claimed that the PTI had concealed these bank accounts from the Election Commission. He stated that millions of dollars had been moved to PTI bank accounts via two offshore accounts.
Election Commission made a scrutiny committee to probe this matter. According to its report, in 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013 PTI took donations of 1.33 billion. The State Bank of Pakistan statement indicates that PTI received donations totaling Rs. 1.64 billion. So, Rs. 31 crores were hidden in the report presented to the ECP with false information regarding the donations.
Verdict on PTI Foreign Funding Case
The Pakistani Election Commission declared on August 2, 2022, that the claims of illegally receiving cash from Pakistanis living abroad against Imran Khan‘s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party had been proven. The Election Commission has demanded PTI provide a justification via a show-cause notice that why these donations should not be seized, and at the same time, it has stated that it will refer the problem to the federal government. Tehreek-e-Insaf challenged in court to contest this ruling.
PTI Reaction on Verdict
Imran Khan responded to the ruling by stating that the donations were gathered in 2012 by Pakistanis living abroad. And that the rule that forbids fundraising was passed in 2017 and that there is no other law that prevents funding from foreign Pakistanis.
The hearing, ECP scheduled for November 7, has been delisted. According to the ECP new cause list deferment of the hearing took place. It proceeded in order to allow the former ruling party “one last time” to respond to the commission’s show cause notice about confiscation. Besides, the de-listing of the case has also been communicated to the PTI attorneys by the ECP.
Moreover, the electoral watchdog will hear the plea, at the scheduled time, against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the foreign financing matter.
The commission has requested the scrutiny committee’s response to the appeal. Farrukh Habib submitted this petition, which is the leader of the PTI. Moreover, it should be remembered that the Lahore High Court on Saturday scheduled a hearing for a petition against the FIA’s summons ordering PTI leader Imran Khan to appear before the watchdog on November 7 in a case involving illegal fundraising.