Disparity in PTI and State Bank records: Chief Election Commissioner

A disparity in bank records of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was noticed, claimed the Chief of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

According to Baaghi TV reports, the PTI foreign funding case was heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). PTI lawyer, Anwar Masoor Khan, presented his arguments in the Commission. The lawyer said that by 2008 and 2009 the scrutiny committee had made 7 bank accounts part of the record. The record of 2 bank accounts was received from SBP, details of which will be shared separately.

Financial expert for PTI, Najam Shah, also briefed the Election Commission and said that the committee scrutinized two bank accounts of the Central Committee. Shah added that the PTI submitted the audit reports of three banks of central accounts, whereas, no funds were deposited in two other bank accounts. In response, the Chief Election Commissioner questioned the difference between both PTI and SBP records, saying, “Can you explain why there is a disparity in the record?” 

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According to SBP, some of the accounts have been hidden from the scrutiny committee. Additionally, Najam Shah said that PTI closed some of its accounts after use however, SBP continued to account for them as part of its record. Shah added that some cheques bounced but SBP added them to its record concerning funds. 

According to reports, Member Election Commission Nisar Durrani asked how the cheques that bounced got the credit if PTI maintains account details for Overseas Funding Declared accounts in a centralized manner? According to the scrutiny committee, PTI received more than Rs. 3.5 million from 2008 to 2009.  

Nisar Durrani questioned, “So the record of the Scrutiny Committee is correct?” To which Financial expert Najam Shah responded that the scrutiny committee started the audit of funds on January 1st, 2009. In the last six months, the record was not made known to the Election Commission. According to Baaghi TV reports, the funds were transacted in three central accounts of PTI including personal funds which were received in some bank accounts, and not deposited into the central finance accounts. 

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Between 2009 to 2010, SBP identified nine banks. It was argued that of the nine, PTI had three central audited accounts, meanwhile four accounts reported by SBP have nothing to do with PTI.

The hearing of the PTI foreign funding case in the Election Commission has been adjourned till June 1. The Chief Election Commissioner remarked that the auditors could continue their proceedings. Meanwhile, Anwar Mansoor requested the ECP to adjourn the hearing of the case till April 27. However, the lawyers objected to the adjournment of the hearing. Anwar Mansoor said that I have all the records which were presented to the Election Commission. The auditors of PTI presented a comparison of bank accounts from 2008 to 2011. The ECP directed the auditors to complete the details of bank accounts at the next hearing.

The prohibited foreign funding case has been pending in the Election Commission since November 2014. The Islamabad High Court had ruled that the foreign funding case should be decided within a month. However, the PTI again approached the court and challenged the decision of the court, which upheld the decision of the Islamabad High Court, and PTI got relief from Islamabad High Court.

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