ECP to announce verdict in PTI prohibited funding case today at 10am

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Shujaat Hamza/DNA

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday said PTI’s foreign funding case verdict — which was reserved on June 21 — will be announced today at 10am.

The election commission today released the cause list for the prohibited funding case. According to the cause list, the verdict will be announced by a three-member bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The decision to announce the verdict comes after a Financial Times exposé revealed that the PTI received funding from Wootton Cricket Club belonging to Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi. The funds were generated through a charity match and an Arab personality also pitched in a large sum of money.

The FT report provided ammunition to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and they demanded an early announcement of the verdict — in the case which was filed in 2014 by Akbar S Babar.

Earlier, ECP officials, on the condition of anonymity, told Daily Jang that the election commission will announce the foreign funding verdict during the first week of August.

The sources said that the PTI would only harm itself if it files a reference against CEC as certain matters which were earlier hidden from public view would be revealed during the hearings.

The cause list released by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The cause list released by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

They said that the ECP is a constitutional body and will continue to follow the constitutional path.

“The ECP will not bow to any blackmailing and will not come under any pressure. No political party is a favourite of the election commission neither nor any is non-favourite. Those who are following the law are standing with the ECP.”

When the attention of these sources was drawn to the announcement of PTI Chairman Imran Khan to file a judicial reference against the ECP and the CEC, they said that this was an attempt to create a smoke screen ahead of the verdict.

The investigations into international money laundering have been completed, they added.

PTI hid funds worth millions of rupees from ECP: report

The PTI hid funds worth millions of rupees from the ECP, the report of an ECP scrutiny committee probing the party’s funds revealed on January 4.

The report stated that the PTI provided “false information” regarding the party’s funding to the ECP. It said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP’s) bank statement revealed that the party had received Rs1.64 billion in funding.

According to the report, the party did not disclose funding worth more than Rs310 million to the ECP. The scrutiny committee was formed in 2019 to audit foreign funding received by the PTI.