ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday constituted a committee to investigate the accounts as well as funding sources of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). A three-member panel, headed by ECP Director-General Law Muhammad Arshad, has been directed to submit its report to the commission within a month. The decision was announced by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Raza Khan, who headed a five-member bench which heard the foreign funding case against the PTI. Disgruntled PTI leader Akbar S Babar had petitioned the ECP against PTI’s ‘illegal and foreign funding’ in November 2014 after he developed differences with Imran Khan over alleged internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political fundings. The counsels of all the parties in the case have been summoned to appear before the panel on March 19. As per the ECP verdict, the committee is to scrutinise all documents and evidence in the presence of the petitioner, the respondents and their lawyers, and to present a report on its findings within 30 days. The committee will start its work from March 19, according to the order. Talking to media after the hearing, the petitioner said he hopes the PTI will not seek another stay from the high court against the order, adding that the party has been indulging in the practice of getting stays and delays from courts. Addressing the media later, PTI Central Finance Secretary Sardar Azhar said the party did not receive any foreign funding nor did it hide anything in its accounts. He added that the party will cooperate with the committee. The petitioner had alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal ‘hundi’ channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees. He had also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the ECP. Published in Daily Times, March 13th 2018.