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What to expect from PTI prohibited funding case verdict?

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will announce the verdict over the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) prohibited funding case.

Sources privy to the matter said the verdict will be announced tomorrow at 10am. The foreign funding case against the PTI had been pending for the last eight years.

Imran Khan announces protest

Former prime minister Imran Khan Monday announced to hold a peaceful protest outside of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday.

The PTI chairman made the statement while addressing the party’s National Council meeting held in Islamabad. The former prime minister demanded that the election commission refrains from conducting the next general elections under any circumstances.

“PTI will hold a peaceful protest out ECP office on Thursday against the conduct of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja,” he said. PTI chairman said that he will hold elections within his party after the general elections to ensure meritocracy.

“I realised in these four months that our party members do not know about its ideology,” khan said.

Financial Times report

The case of foreign funding against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf seems to be getting twists with every passing day. An explosive story featured in the Financial Times, last week, revealed how the PTI accrued funds through cricket matches organised under Wootton Cricket Ltd, a company owned by Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi.

As per the report, Mr Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013, adding up to a total of $2.12 million.

Apparently, Mr Naqvi organised a charity fundraiser in the UK during the summer, the ultimate benefactor of which was the PTI. The report claims that fees were paid to Wootton Cricket Ltd, which, despite the name, was in fact a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi and the money was being used to bankroll the PTI. The emails and internal documents which the Financial Times had access to reveal that both companies and foreign nationals, as well as citizens of Pakistan, sent millions of dollars, including at least £2 million from a United Arab Emirates government minister who is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Volume VIII

The documents concealed by the scrutiny committee include all original 28 bank statements and year-wise details of foreign funds transferred to the PTI’s accounts between 2009-13.

These crucial pieces of evidence have been kept confidential as per the committee’s own desires expressed on page 83 of its report that states that “the Committee is of the considered opinion that the portions of the Report which have been prepared on the basis of (PTI) Bank Statements obtained through State Bank of Pakistan may be kept confidential and classified and may not be released in public domain”.

“All verified government details of the bank transactions of the PTI will surface for the first time,” according to sources.

Conclusion

A majority of the experts believe that there can be strong complications for PTI in the foreign funding case and there can be no more room for delays considering how this case has been pending since November 14, 2014.

In over seven years the case has been heard in excess of 150 times, with the PTI seeking adjournment on 54 occasions. It is now time for the government to allow for unfettered transparency so that this matter can reach its conclusion.

The PTI has built its brand over the years by railing against corruption and misappropriation of funds and it must now stand behind the principles it claims to espouse. How the PTI deals with this case will be a litmus test for the ideological moorings of the party.

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