ISLAMABAD - The lawyer of Akbar S Baber, the main petitioner in the foreign funding case against the ruling party on Tuesday petitioned the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hear the case personally instead of the scrutiny committee, as the latter was not working in accordance with the TORs.

A five member’s bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Raja Sikandar Sultan heard the arguments of both the parties in the petition filed by Akbar S Baber regarding the status of the scrutiny committee.

While appearing before the committee, the lawyer of the petitioner, Ahmad Hassan, told the commission that the committee was incompetent to resolve the matter despite the fact that they had provided all the related documents to the committee.

He argued that the ruling party was dragging its feet to avoid being held accountable, and has failed to provide the details of the accounts used for foreign funding, which were hidden from the commission.

On the other hand, the counsel of the PTI argued that the scrutiny committee should be allowed to carry on with its work. He maintained that the commission should check whether the committee was working under the directives of the Supreme Court and following the TORs; adding that the committee was provided with all the required data.

He further argued that the scrutiny committee was not supposed to go beyond its domain on the wishes of the petitioner; saying that they had provided all the certificates of the charted accounts to the committee.

A debate during the hearing was also sparked over the terminology of foreign funding, when the CEC asked the lawyer of the petitioner if it was the case of foreign funding; on the question the lawyer responded that the foreign funding was the terminology introduced by the media not by them as it was the case of prohibited funding.

While appearing before the commission the head of the scrutiny committee Muhammad Arshid told the commission that the committee was probing the case under its domain; however, the commission questioned him about the final report of the committee.