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Sunday, May 19, 2024

No illicit money received from outside: Anwar Mansoor

The counsel further underlined that although the election commission prohibited taking funds from outside sources, the ban on taking funds from local companies had been lifted under the election acts.

On Wednesday, a three-member bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Sikandar Sultan Raja took up the foreign funding case against PTI. While giving his arguments before the bench, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawyer Anwar Mansoor admitted that money had come from outside but clarified that the allegation that PTI was receiving illicit funding is wrong, adding that the money coming from outside had been declared to the Election Commission of Pakistan as foreign funding.

At the onset of the hearing, PTI counsel, Anwar Mansoor, informed the court that he would not be able to delve into the details as he was not able to furnish supporting documents because of the ongoing political situation in view of which most of the PTI offices were closed.

Read more: Did ECP hide PTI’s foreign bank accounts?

The counsel further underlined that although the election commission prohibited taking funds from outside sources, the ban on taking funds from local companies had been lifted under the election acts. The PTI counsel maintained that a company registered outside of Pakistan could not be called a local company.

At one point during the hearing, Sindh members of the election commission of Pakistan Nasir Durrani inquired whether the counsel was admitting to taking foreign funding. In response to the question, Lawyer Anwar Mansoor said that no funding had been received from any illicit source. If the petitioner, Akbar S Babar, thinks otherwise, the onus of proving the allegation rests with him.

The PTI counsel also raised a question regarding what the word “foreign” entailed. The lawyer asked that “if any Hindu citizen got dual citizenship, did he become a foreigner?” However, he was also quick to add that PTI did not receive any funds from any Indian citizen. He claimed that most of the money was coming from America, and all of it was declared.

After hearing the case, the ECP adjourned the hearing till April 19.

Read more: Foreign funding case: Will PTI be banned?

After the hearing, petitioner Akbar S Babar, whilst talking to the press, said that he had proof of two such accounts being operated by senior members of the party. He further added, “They have written indictments for their leadership for opening illegal accounts on one hand, and on the other, they are taking no action against these individuals,” He requested the investigation body to look into the matter, adding that the PTI government committed a crime against the public.