ISLAMABAD: The Elec­tion Commission of Pakis­ta­­ni (ECP) on Tuesday reser­ved its judgement in the famous prohibited funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Some of the interesting facts that came to light during the lengthy proceedings included disclosure of concealment of various bank accounts by the PTI and an authorisation by it to four paid employees to receive donations from in and outside the country in their personal accounts.

The verdict was reserved after a three-member ECP bench headed by the chief election commissioner (CEC) heard arguments of petitioner Akbar S. Babar’s nominated chartered accountant Arsalan Vardaq regarding financial details presented by the PTI.

Mr Vardaq presented registration data of foreign companies that donated funds to the PTI, including two companies registered in Cayman Islands. He made references to the PTI documents that reveal undisclosed party bank accounts. He also listed the PTI-reg­istered foreign companies that were used to collect funds against its own written policy statement. The PTI did not disclose a single audit report of these foreign-registered companies.

Mr Vardaq specified funds received from Canada, Aus­tralia, Finland, Norway and other European countries where PTI chapters were re­­gistered. Funds were recei­ved, but details were never disclosed before the ECP until their identities were revealed through the documents requisitioned throu­­gh the State Bank of Pakistan.

The petitioner submitted a document that suggests a way forward for the ECP. It suggests that show-cause should be issued to the PTI for all its documented illegal actions. The foreign fun­ding case was filed on Nov 14, 2014, by PTI’s founding member Akbar S. Babar.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022

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