A scrutiny committee investigating the foreign funding case against the ruling PTI walked out of the session on Wednesday following objections by the petitioner. PTI’s legal counsel Shah Khawar said that the scrutiny process has been completed and the committee has given its recommendations to the ECP. The committee was formed by the Election Commission of Pakistan to investigate the foreign funding allegations against the PTI, he said, adding that they answered all of the committee’s questions. The petitioner expressed a lack of confidence in the scrutiny committee during the session, he said. Shah Khawar said the scrutiny committee has left nothing incomplete and has already submitted its recommendations to the ECP. “But the ECP has told the committee that its report misses a few aspects,” he added. The petitioner, Akbar S Babar, said this was not the first time that the committee had walked out of the session. “We gave it in writing that you are not investigating transparently. We again raised the objection on August 13, 2020,” Babar told reporters, according to a private TV channel. He said he has no confidence in the ECP’s scrutiny committee. Babar said that the demand from day one was for the ECP to review the records and the scrutiny committee to submit a final report. “It’s not lack of confidence but more about the fears pertaining to the case and its investigation. However, upon expressing concern, the ECP’s scrutiny committee refused to take further action and progress with the proceedings,” he claimed. “The scrutiny committee’s task was to examine the PTI’s documents,” he said, alleging that it had admitted to ‘being under pressure’ from the ruling party. “The ECP should investigate the foreign funding case on a daily basis and announce its decision. I have worked with the scrutiny committee for three years but their walk-out is unfortunate.” Separately, the ECP issued on Wednesday notices to all parties in parliament in a case pertaining to scrutiny of financial statements and funds. A five-member bench, headed by the chief election commissioner, gave the parties till February 24 to submit their responses. A total of 19 parties have been served the notice. During the proceedings, the political finance wing submitted a report to the ECP regarding scrutiny of financial statements of all political parties serving in the parliament. The commission directed for a copy of the report to also be provided to Khawar, asking him to review the report and file his objections, if any. According to a member of the commission, Irshad Qaiser, “the ECP is already investigating the funds of three political parties”. The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had held a rally outside the ECP’s office a day ago to press for its demand for an early outcome of the foreign funding case filed against the ruling PTI. Following the rally, the ECP spokesperson had said that despite the coronavirus epidemic, lawyers’ engagements and the retirement of a member of the scrutiny committee, the ECP had made significant progress in the foreign funding case. “The ECP is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities without any pressure and is ready at all times to ensure free, fair and transparent elections,” the spokesperson had said.