Foreign Funding case: ECP allows PTI to access records of PML-N, PPP – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Monday, allowed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to access the financial records of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Foreign Funding case, while directing the Scrutiny Committee to submit a comprehensive report related to N-League and the PPP in the case.

A two-member ECP bench comprising Shah Muhammad Jatoi and Nisar Ahmed Durrani heard the foreign funding case related to the PML-N and the PPP.

The court reviewed the petition moved by State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, the petitioner in the case on behalf of the PTI, seeking access to the PML-N’s and the PPP’s financial records.

In its written order, the ECP bench allowed the PTI to access the two opposition parties’ financial records for eight days.

The ECP also allowed the petitioner to engage two financial experts, including a chartered accountant, to examine the PML-N’s and the PPP’s financial records, before the case was adjourned.

“Maryam and Bilawal will not be able to run. Now their fake accounts would be exposed,” Habib said, speaking to media outside the ECP, after the foreign funding case hearing.

In previous hearing of the case on September 15, the PML-N and the PPP had refused the scrutiny of their financial records by the experts.

In their respective replies submitted to the ECP, the two political parties declined the scrutiny of their finances by designated chartered accounts/ financial analysts.

The ECP, on a petition moved by Akbar Sher Babar, had ordered the scrutiny of the accounts of the ruling party-PTI- by chartered accountants and financial analysts.

The PTI allowed the scrutiny of its accounts by the experts, while moving a petition in the ECP that the accounts of the PML-N and the PPP be scrutinised the same way its accounts were scrutinised in foreign funding case.

The electoral body had sought separate replies from the two opposition parties in this regard as they both denied scrutiny by the financial experts.

The PTI has taken the stance that it fully complied with the ECP’s instructions and submitted the record of 40,000 donors and 16 volumes containing the detailed evidence of lawful funding to the PTI by overseas donors.

On the other hand, the PML-N and the PPP have not allegedly submitted any significant record in the case.

Meanwhile, the ECP has written a letter to federal government asking it to hold fresh population census and complete this exercise by December next year.

The federal government has decided to hold fresh population census, while the ECP is of the view that fresh delimitation of constituencies would be required for general elections 2023 based on results of new population census.

The ECP says it needs at least six months to complete the delimitation exercise.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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