The case against the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and their foreign funding in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are being delayed because the scrutiny committee is failing to follow the directives of the ECP. This is one of the few cases within the polity that balances out the investigations which have been underway since the last two years - targeting mostly the members of opposition parties including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). There needs to be a proper mechanism for penalizing the scrutiny committee because, despite ECP’s order to conduct the hearing against the funding on a daily basis, the proceedings are not taking place in a timely fashion.

The scrutiny committee is also refusing to disclose the documents submitted by the respondents and has not shared them with the petitioner either. It also refused to share with the PTI details of the undeclared accounts operated by the party that the committee had received directly from the banks on the directives of the State Bank of Pakistan and asked the PTI to seek the same from the banks.

This buys the investigation ample time because, after December 5, the ECP will be involved in other matters, particularly pertaining to the election of the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). CEC retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza retires on December 5. The delays favour the ruling party and buy time for the investigation. Once the election of the CEC begins, the entire debate will shift focus once again. It is important to investigate in a timely fashion, especially when the ruling party is involved not only because the law dictates such protocol but also because the ruling party promised no discrimination based on party affiliation, which means that a case against PTI should also be meted with the same treatment, the opposition parties get.

The petitioner and PTI founding member said that all those hoping or attempting to delay the case one way or another are doing a great “disservice to the country”. The concerns regarding the proceedings should be addressed as soon as possible in order to ensure that no law or law enforcement agency provides a cushion to the ruling party due to the power they have assumed in this tenure. Those ruling the country should be held at a higher moral pedestal and scrutinised to ensure that the laws of the country are being upheld.