The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s plea to adjourn the foreign funding case against the party, while reserving its judgment on two further pleas from the PTI to exclude petitioner Akbar S. Babar from the case and maintain the secrecy of documents requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja said that the case, which has been pending since November 2014, should not be delayed further and adjourning the next hearing for the following day (March 17), according to Dawn.
The ECP is currently investigating allegations of improper foreign fundraising by the PTI, following a petition filed by PTI founding member Akbar Babar in which he alleged the use of hidden bank accounts and money laundering. In an earlier report, the scrutiny committee of the ECP found that the PTI had provided ‘false information’ regarding their funding streams.
In January 2022, the ECP scrutiny committee submitted a report indicating that the PTI leadership had violated funding laws by collecting millions of dollars in foreign funding without properly detailing its source.
Last week, member of the opposition including representatives from the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the JUI-F, wrote a letter to the CEC demanding a conclusion to the case against the PTI, citing that the issue was a matter of national security, upholding rule of law, democratic norms and neutrality and credibility of the ECP.