Pak EC says no public hearings in foreign funding

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday clarified that the ongoing foreign funding case against Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will not have public hearings.

“The scrutiny committee will not conduct an open hearing of its proceedings,” The Express Tribune quoted the ECP spokesperson as saying. “The case would have an open hearing after the scrutiny committee submits its report,” ECP added.

Earlier, Petitioner Akbar S Babar had reportedly expressed his lack of confidence in ECP’s scrutiny committee over its method of investigation on the “unverified documents” submitted by the ruling party.

This comes as the ECP scrutiny committee is auditing PTI accounts related to foreign funding. Earlier, describing PTI’s foreign funding case as “most important and sensitive”, the ECP noted that deciding the matter on merit was in the “national interest,” The Express Tribune reported.

The foreign funding case against PTI was filed in November 2014 by Babar, a founding member of the party. He had levelled serious financial irregularities in PTI’s accounts.

Six years have passed since the case was filed. However, it is yet to reach a conclusion. However, separate rallies led by different constituent members of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)–the opposition’s 11-party alliance–hold a protest outside the ECP against an ‘unacceptable delay’ in the PTI foreign funding case

Meanwhile, PDM leaders Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maryam Nawaz had earlier termed the case as ‘biggest scandal in the country’s political history’.