PTI Foreign Funding Case Documents Still Not Declassified

The orders were given by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declassify key files related to the PTI foreign funding case have to be implemented yet, where the next hearing of the case is less than a week away, reported by Down News.

On Jan 18, in the last hearing of the foreign funding case, the Election Commission of Pakistan had canceled the orders of the scrutiny committee to keep some parts secret out of its report, which include PTI certified documents and bank statements obtained from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

On behalf of Mr. Akbar S. Babar PTI’s founding member who is the petitioner in the case, a formal written request to access the complete report of the scrutiny committee had been filed to the Deputy Director of Law, ECP on Jan 20.

This petitioner has a copy of the written request that has the stamp of Election Commission of Pakistan receipt on the same date.

The Election Commission of Pakistan reversed the order of the scrutiny committee on Jan 18, to keep the key documents secret.

To enable the lawyers of the petitioner in the next hearing to assist the ECP scheduled for February 1st, a request for early sharing of all documents is also included in the application.

Akbar S. Baber the petitioner of the case has confirmed that for the access of all enclosures of the report, including the classified parts, and application had been filed on January 20. However, the documents had yet not been shared with him.

Muhammad Arshad, Director General (Law) of the ECP, was not available for comment, who was also a member of the scrutiny committee.

The secrecy issue was decided by ECP on January 18 that no part of the scrutiny committee report could be kept secret.

As PTI had objected to sharing the scrutiny committee report with Akbar S. Babar, a PTI founding member and the petitioner, in this case, the Election Commission of Pakistan scrutiny committee had kept the document secret.

Sikander Sultan Raja, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had passed the order when the petitioner contended in the court that certain critical parts of the committee report had been kept secret and he was not given access to the complete report. 

Mr. Babar’s counsel Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah described the scrutiny committee report as dishonest. He said that until the critical portion of the evidence was made public as per the earlier order of the ECP, meaningful scrutiny was not possible.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) assured the petitioner that he would receive copies of the complete report including all secret portions after submitting an application. He also asked the correspondent to submit his analysis of the report to ECP to discuss the matter.

The crucial portion of the evidence had been kept confidential by the committee, stated in its report that, as per committee opinion the parts of the prepared report based on PTI bank statements acquired through State Bank of Pakistan can be kept confidential and classified and might not be released in the public.

The committee said in its report that the data of the documents provided by the petitioner and the respondent was included in a non-classified portion of the report and the data obtained from SBP is considered as classified section, so that the bank account and banking information confidentiality laws, rules and procedures were not violated.