PTI’s name has been illegally used to raise funds, counsel explains to ECP

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Anwar Mansoor argued on Wednesday that some people illegally used the party’s name to collect funds.

The PTI counsel’s arguments came as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) heard the party’s foreign funding case earlier today. The counsel maintained that the PTI was registered in the United States in 2010 and that it was not responsible for any funding raised without the permission of the central finance committee.

On ECP Sindh member Nasir Durrani’s inquiry about the sources of funding, Mansoor replied that the funding was taken personally and the PTI had submitted all the details of the funding to the scrutiny committee. An external audit of the PTI’s funds was also conducted on international standards.

“Checks and balances were kept to prevent the illegal use of funds. In 2013, the central finance committee wrote a letter to improve the party funding system. Before 2013, there were problems in funding on which the party chairman wrote a letter. Warning letters were also issued to those responsible,” the counsel further stated.

The Sindh commission member asked if the party had confidence in Ahsan & Ahsan –auditing firm?

To this, counsel Mansoor replied that Ahsan & Ahsan were not regular auditors and that their report cannot be considered an audit of the PTI.

“Their report was downloaded by the scrutiny committee from the website. The party is not responsible if the agent does something wrong in sending funds. The amount of funding that came from the US, and UK in 2010-11 and the record of all donors were given to the scrutiny committee. It rejected the recorded based on assumptions, the counsel maintained.

Mansoor added that our donation consisted of Pakistanis living abroad and the PTI did not receive any funding from foreigners.

Member Nasir Durrani asked what action was taken by the party if the agents made a mistake. To this, the counsel replied that the party had removed the disruptive agents.

The scrutiny committee report said that ‘it appeared’ that foreigners had funded the PTI. He added that conclusions cannot be reached from what ‘seemed’ or what could have possibly happened.

“There is no possibility of probabilities in the law. How can a decision be made on the basis of an uncertainty? The questions raised by the committee on funds were not even received by the party,” he said.

Member Shah Mohammad Jatoi asked if any legal action was taken against the agents who were removed. “The agent was removed by the party but no action was taken,” the counsel replied. “The agents were allowed to raise funds for the party under the agreement who worked for the party voluntarily.”

Barrister Ahmed Hassan asked the counsel to clarify what country’s citizen was Nasrullah.

The ECP adjourned further hearing of the case till tomorrow.

After the hearing, petitioner Akbar S Babar while talking to the media said that the PTI today argued that the full funds collected by two illegal companies opened by the PTI in the US did not reach Pakistan.

“They have disowned the treasurer (Nasrullah) they themselves appointed,” the former PTI member said.

“The PTI says that these accounts were operated by Asad Qaiser etc. and today they have disowned their own treasurer, Dr Nasrullah,” Babar said.

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