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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

PTI foreign funding case explained

A twitter thread by Kim Ghum Ri explains the PTI foreign funding case and why the decision of ECP is flawed.

The case started when Mr. Akber Sher Babar decided to part ways with Imran Khan in 2014 and filed a petition in the Election Commission of Pakistan against PTI for receiving funds from prohibited sources.

The case started as a foreign funding case instead of prohibited funding case and PTI Chairman Imran Khan remained under media trial and was alleged to be a “Yahoodi agent” (Jews’ agent) due to receiving funds from foreign sources. However, later the case was turned into prohibited funding case.

Kim Ghum Ri goes on to explain the spirit of the law that prohibits political parties from receiving funds from public or private companies. A political party is barred from receiving funds from public or private companies so that their decisions cannot be influenced when they are in power.

The reasons that the decision of ECP in PTI foreign funding case is flawed, according to Kim Ghum Ri, are as follow.

Read More: ECP rules PTI received prohibited funds

Post 9/11, international transfer of funds is strictly scrutinized and raising, collecting or transferring funds with incorporating a registered company is prohibited. Hence, if PTI raised any funds overseas from Pakistani diaspora, it had to incorporate a company registered in the respective country to raise the funds. PTI then transferred the funds to PTIs overseas account and then transferred them to Pakistan in a lawful manner.

Decision of ECP to declare these funds unlawful implies that PTI cannot fund PTI, just like a few days back Dost Mazari’s ruling prohibited Pervez Ilahi from voting for himself. ECP decision is based on the premise that because the funds were transferred to PTIs accounts from foreign registered companies, hence the funding is illegal. What the ECP needs to understand is that there is no other way of raising funds from overseas Pakistanis.

Even the affidavits submitted by Wootton Cricket Limited and Bristol Engineering Services clarifying that their accounts were just used to transfer the funds, while the funds were raised through fund-raising events, are not enough satisfy ECP.

Kim Ghum Ri then explains the affidavit by Imran Khan, which might be used to try him under article 62 of the constitution. Imran Khan cannot be tried under article 62 due to that particular affidavit even if it proves to be wrong because he signed on an audited account presented by an auditing firm and understanding and checking such audits require elaborate accountancy knowledge.

Having elaborate accountancy knowledge is clearly not a requirement to hold a political position or public office.

Lastly, the decision is based on an assumption that “what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly”; if company accounts cannot make funding transactions within Pakistan, international company transfer is also prohibited. Again ECP needs to understand that involving a company is an international requirement for such transactions.

Kim Ghum Ri concludes that the verdict by ECP is not only flawed, it is against the spirit of law. ECP twisted the law to decide against PTI and Imran Khan.

Read More: ECP adds local supporter in PTI prohibited donor list