ISLAMABAD: The Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will start day-to-day hearing of the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from Tuesday (today).

The ECP last week announced the decision to hear the case on a daily basis in line with the Islamabad High Court’s order which directed it to dispose of the matter within 30 days.

The IHC issued the order after it dismissed an appeal of the PTI against the ECP order rejecting two PTI applications seeking dismissal of the foreign funding case and disassociating its petitioner Akbar S. Babar from the case and keeping the PTI documents secret.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Ka­­yani of the IHC in his detailed order had rejected the PTI’s petition as the law allowed Mr Babar to participate in the case proceedings and held that the ECP as a constitutio­nal body had the right to seek assistance of Mr Babar and come to conclusions based on the merits of the case.

If funding from prohibited sources is proved, it will affect the status of the party (PTI) and its chairman.

Besides directing the ECP to conclude the case in one month, the detailed order also states that “no restriction can be imposed upon ECP to adopt any process of inquiry, investigation, scrutiny to reach out the mandate of assigned duty in terms of Article 17(3), read with enabling provisions of PPO 2002 as if any of the party funding has been received from prohibited sources, it would affect the status of such political party including its chairman”.

A report compiled by the ECP’s scrutiny committee had emerged on Jan 4, confirming that the PTI received funding from foreign nationals and companies, under-reported funds and concealed dozens of its bank accounts.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2022

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