ISLAMABAD - The main petitioner in foreign funding case against the ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Akbar S Baber on Sunday termed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s petition in the Supreme Court as a blessing in disguise for him stating this will make his task easier.

He said that by going to SC, Imran Khan has made life easier for me as I was already contemplating going to the IHC or the Supreme Court to break the impasse in the foreign funding case.

He stated that the petition in the SC is another proof that PTI is avoiding accountability as yet again Imran Khan has challenged the jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the foreign funding case.

Besides he has also challenged my membership of the party one more time, he said.

He said: “I think the nation is less interested to know if Akbar S Babar is still a member of PTI or not. It is more interested to know if PTI leadership indulged in corruption, money laundering and concealment of accounts as alleged in the PTI foreign funding case.”

He elaborated that unfortunately the latest petition is another attempt to avoid accountability and not come clean before the people; stating that for 5 years PTI leadership was crying hoarse that I had been expelled from the party. Now they claim that I had sent a resignation by email.

Political parties free from individual control act as a nursery of credible leadership

He maintained that with the filing of the case in SCP, they may just entered the final round of a long struggle to free political parties from individual control and act as a nursery of credible leadership.

Akbar S Baber had earlier hinted to raise the case in court as he termed the Scrutiny Committee helpless in resolving the foreign funding case on merit.

While talking to The Nation, Akbar S Baber earlier had said that he had no more hope from the Committee to resolve the case, adding, that he had provided all the data and evidences to the Committee but still they were not able to find the complete facts and figures.

He stated that the case will be a game changer for Pakistan’s politics once the details about the full scale and scope of the abuse of funding laws are made public.

It is important to mention that Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday challenged the Islamabad High Courts (IHC) orders to recognise Akbar S. Babar a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and revert the foreign funding case to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The Prime Minister challenged the jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the case, stating that Babar was not a member of the PTI since 2011. The PTI Chairman said that the IHC ignored the decisions of the apex court in its judgment where it reverted the case to the Commission.

Imran Khan said that Babar’s presence in the Scrutiny Committee to oversee the PTI’s accounts was against the law.

He said that the High Court cannot use Article 144 to issue a verdict where controversial evidence is presented.

Babar, a founding member of the PTI, had filed a case against the Imran Khan-led party in November 2014, claiming that there were massive financial irregularities in handling of foreign funding to the tune of nearly $3 million.

Following the petition, the PTI challenged the ECP orders in the IHC in 2017. In the same year, the IHC sent back the case to the electoral body to review its jurisdiction once again. In the case, the high court had also declared Babar as member of the ruling PTI.

Later on May 8, 2017, an ECP Bench stated that the body had complete jurisdiction over the case.

In March 2018, a Scrutiny Committee was formed to look into PTI’s foreign funding accounts to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

The PTI at multiple times has sought secrecy in the scrutiny and had also approached the ECP, in this regard. However, in October of last year the ECP turned down the party’s request.

The PTI chief at multiple times has accused the ECP for working for the interests of the Opposition in the case.