ISLAMABAD   -  The Scrutiny Committee in foreign funding case against PTI is likely to miss another target and demand extension in the deadline which is expiring today (Thursday). 

However, the Election Commission (ECP) has directed the committee to submit final report by today (Thursday).

“The committee is yet to gather some important information and evidence relevant to the case and will ask the commission for more time,” sources in the ECP said.

However, the Chief Election Commissioner Raja Sikandar Sultan in a recent meeting has emphasised the committee to submit the final report in the foreign funding case yesterday. 

The sources further revealed that the committee formed in March 2018 to complete scrutiny of PTI’s alleged foreign funding in one month may likely to fail again to meet the latest deadline to complete scrutiny in six weeks ending on October 22.

According to sources privy to development in yesterday’s meeting the petitioner’s lawyer Syed Ahmad Hassan Shah assisted by Badar Iqbal Chaudhry threatened to walk out if the PTI’s latest response to alleged illegal funding from the U.S. was not shared with him.

The meeting the petitioner’s counsel reiterated that under law the Committee was bound to share all the documents before it including the 23 PTI bank accounts mostly concealed from ECP as well all bank statements of all international bank accounts that remain concealed from ECP. 

He said that the Committee’s refusal to do so was against law and affected the Transparency and credibility of the Scrutiny process, meanwhile the committee adjourned proceedings without setting a fresh date.

On the other hand talking to The Nation, the petitioner and PTI founding member Akbar S Baber said that they had already submitted their concerns on the status of the committee to the ECP before the Commission; adding that they were of the opinion that the process adopted by the Committee for the last 29/30 months has failed.

He said that the ECP Order of August 27, 2020 had vindicated their stance and a clear manifestation of the Committee’s failure to conduct transparent and credible scrutiny and fresh 6 weeks given to the Committee by the ECP has also expired with little progress, he claimed. 

He said they repeated their concerns expressed on March 5, 2020 and August 13, 2020 regarding the inherent failure of the Committee to perform its task assigned to it by the Honourable ECP. A failed process should not be allowed to continue considering the 29/30 months already wasted, he added.

Babar proposed that only way forward is for the ECP to take control of all the evidence and conduct hearings on a day to day basis in the presence of the media to ensure transparency.

Meanwhile, a senior leader of PTI told The Nation that they had submitted all the information, details and evidences to the committee and now it was the duty of the Committee and the ECP to get their work done and announce the final verdict.