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Panel gets more time to probe PML-N, PPP foreign funding case

The scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) remained inconclusive about the alleged foreign funding of PML-N and PPP due to the non-receipt of reply from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) regarding the accounts of both the parties and lack of submission of donor details from the two sides.

The scrutiny panel of the election commission met on Thursday to investigate the foreign funding against the PML-N and PPP.

 The panel did not receive a letter from the SBP regarding the accounts’ details of both the parties.

 Now the committee will meet after receiving a response from the central bank on the matter.

 On the other hand, the ECP observed that the panel was unable to form an opinion due to the incomplete report of the committee and lack of cooperation from both the parties.

 The election commission granted another six weeks to the committee on its request and clarified that action would be taken against the PML-N and PPP in case of non-submission of record within the stipulated time.

 Directing the panel to bring all the resources into use, the ECP asked the committee to take action under Article 6 of the Election Commission Order 2002 and also allowed the panel to use Section 4 of the Election Act.

 The commission authorised the committee to obtain the record and sought a final report until November 5.

 The ECP observed that despite its repeated directives, the complete record of funds of the PML-N and PPP was not submitted with the committee.

 The scrutiny committee’s report stated that the PML-N had been unable to submit complete record of the party funding, while the PPP had not presented any document in this regard.

 The PTI had approached the commission in October 2017 to seek scrutiny of funding record of the PML-N and the PPP for years 2013-2015.

 In two separate ‘complaints’, the PTI accused the PML-N and the PPP of concealing their sources of funds and companies registered by them in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively, and sought cancellation of election symbols allocated to them “for their failure to meet legal requirements for eligibility to obtain the symbols”.

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