Islamabad [Pakistan], January 27 (ANI): In an interesting development in the foreign funding case against Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Akbar S Babar, one of the founding members of the ruling party, on Tuesday, submitted an application to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) scrutiny committee, challenging its decision to keep the financial records of the PTI secret from him.
Seeking transparency in the foreign funding case, the petitioner said that the application was intended to 'test' Imran Khan's offer for live coverage of the case, reported Dawn.
In his application, Babar challenged the decision of the committee to continue to keep the financial record of the PTI, including 23 bank statements, secret from him in the light of the prime minister's offer.
The petitioner and his legal advisors have reiterated that as long as his genuine and legal concerns of transparency were not addressed, which included sharing of all financial documents of the PTI with the committee, they would continue to participate in the scrutiny committee's proceedings under protest, reported Dawn.
Babar said it was the right of the nation to know the truth. "We have filed the application to test PM Khan's offer of ending secrecy," he said.
A copy of the application demanding sharing of all documents in the light of PM Khan's latest offer of ending secrecy was also given to PTI representatives attending the proceedings.
Sources informed that an interesting situation developed when the PTI representatives showed reluctance to even receive a copy of Babar's application. It was agreed that the PTI would respond to the application in the next meeting for the scrutiny committee to decide the matter, reported Dawn.
Moreover, the petitioner said the real challenge the prime minister was facing was from a system that had refused to provide justice to the weak against the powerful. He said the PTI had been formed to change this system and instead of changing this rotten system, Khan was presiding over it.
The foreign funding case against PTI was filed in November 2014 by Babar. He had leveled serious financial irregularities in PTI's accounts.
Six years have passed since the case was filed. However, it is yet to reach a conclusion.
Earlier, ECP's scrutiny committee had refused to share PTI records by stating "learned counsel for the complainant [Babar] was told that copies of the documents submitted by the respondent [PTI] cannot be provided at this stage as the respondent seriously opposes it," said the scrutiny committee order of December 2, 2019.
Moreover, on January 20, the ECP's scrutiny committee had set a new precedent as it walked out of its own meeting after questions were raised over the credibility of the scrutiny process. The committee has been accused earlier of being lenient on Khan and PTI by Pakistan opposition.
The 11-party Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) too had demonstrated against ECP by gathering outside its office on January 19 to demand a quick decision on the foreign funding case. (ANI)