21 January 2021
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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf submitted on Thursday to the Election Commission of Pakistan its reply in the foreign funding case against the party.

A questionnaire was issued to the party on October 21, 2020.

The party said the “complainant cannot be provided copies of documents submitted by the respondent but can only be allowed to inspect during the proceedings.”

The additional documents submitted by the “complainant are not part of the original complaint, and are beyond the period and cannot be pressed into service by the complainant, and so cannot be considered by the scrutiny,” it said.

The PTI said it has appointed agents in different countries responsible for collecting funds as per the party’s laws.

“The agents have provided the duly notarised and authenticated affidavits clearly stating that they have adhered to the PTI fund collection policy and funds sent to the respondent through banking channel, have been collected from individuals of Pakistan origin, and totally reconciled and reflected in the PTI external audit reports,” it added.

Akbar S Babar, an estranged founding member of the PTI, filed the original petition accusing the party of receiving funding from abroad on November 14, 2014. He filed another petition on November 23, 2019 accusing the PTI of using delaying tactics in the case. He said the party was misleading the scrutiny committee and asked the ECP to hear the case itself.

Babar said the ECP should summon all the records in the case and then make a decision itself.

The original case accused the party of corruption and illegal funding. The ECP has so far dismissed four petitions filed by the PTI in this case. The PTI had accused the scrutiny committee of conducting an investigation without informing party members and then leaked the details. The third petition said Babar’s petition was based on malicious intent and the fourth was on providing details of the accounts provided by the State Bank.

The proceedings were delayed because the PTI had filed a writ petition in October 2015 in the Islamabad High Court seeking to restrain the ECP scrutiny of its accounts. The ECP took up the case once again in 2017.

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Abdul Gh Lone