ISLAMABAD - Using delaying tactics, PTI on Thursday once again refused to share bank statements of its accounts abroad with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Scrutiny Committee despite acknowledging their existence in US, Canada, UK and elsewhere.

While talking to The Nation, a reliable source in the ECP said that after agreeing to a five year scrutiny of its accounts, PTI had refused to share financial details of accounts for the year 2013 despite clear instructions of the Committee; as the TORs mandates PTI to submit its accounts for scrutiny for a five year financial period from 2009 to 2013. 

ECP sources further revealed that in today’s meeting of the Scrutiny Committee the petitioner’s lawyer Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah repeatedly argued for sharing of PTI documents to be able to assist the Committee in any meaningful way.

The ECP Scrutiny Committee mandated to scrutinize PTI foreign funding met on Thursday and is scheduled to meet again today (Friday) in order to scrutinise the data submitted by both the parties. 

 

The Committee was formed in March 2018 to complete scrutiny of PTI accounts in one month but despite over 80 meetings it is yet to present the final report to the commission.

 

The petitioner’s lawyer Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah during ECP hearings on June 2, 2020 had expressed serious reservations with the pace of the scrutiny of PTI accounts. He had cited instances where proactive scrutiny was needed and stated without the will to probe and scrutinize, the process would be never ending. 

 

Syed Ahmed Hassan Shah had demanded that the ECP should take the matters into its hands and conduct the inquiry expeditiously. In this regard, he had mentioned that the PTI refuses to share bank statements of its foreign accounts despite acknowledging their existence. 

 

As a consequence, the ECP in its order of June 2, 2020 had ordered the Scrutiny Committee to conclude its scrutiny by August 17, 2020 and submit the findings to the ECP for it to proceed further in the case.

  

While addressing the media after the meeting, the petitioner and PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar said if PTI was serious about accountability it would not have delayed the case for almost six years.

 

He said nothing is more misleading than the notion that return of looted wealth will bring economic prosperity. 

 

 

He maintained that genuine leaders put nations to work to create wealth and prosperity, whereas, charlatans only feed shortcuts to prosperity; adding that the purpose of any accountability drive is to improve; work ethics, efficiency, and basic values leading to improved governance and economic growth. Whereas, the last few years of accountability has only worsened governance and strangulated economic growth. He concluded that credible accountability that impacts society begins at home otherwise it turns into a witch hunt.