ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday challenged the Islamabad High Courts (IHC) orders to recognise Akbar S. Babar a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and revert the foreign funding case to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The prime minister challenged the jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the case, stating that Babar was not a member of the PTI since 2011. The PTI chairman said that the IHC ignored the decisions of the apex court in its judgment where it reverted the case to the commission.

He further stated that the IHC had declared Babar a member of the party when Babar had sent an email in which he had stated that he had left the party, adding that the communication was on record.

PM Imran said that Babar’s presence in the scrutiny committee to oversee the PTI’s accounts was against the law. He said that the high court cannot use Article 144 to issue a verdict where controversial evidence is presented.

What is the PTI foreign funding case about?

Babar, a founding member of the PTI, had filed a case against the Imran Khan-led party in November 2014, claiming that there were massive financial irregularities in handling of foreign funding to the tune of nearly $3 million.

Following the petition, the PTI challenged the ECP orders in the IHC in 2017. In the same year, the IHC sent back the case to the electoral body to review its jurisdiction once again. In the case, the high court had also declared Babar as member of the ruling PTI.

Later on May 8, 2017, an ECP bench stated that the body had complete jurisdiction over the case.

In March 2018, a scrutiny committee was formed to look into PTI’s foreign funding accounts to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

The PTI at multiple times has sought secrecy in the scrutiny and had also approached the ECP, in this regard. However, in October of last year the ECP turned down the party’s request.

The PTI chief at multiple times has accused the ECP for working for the interests of the opposition in the case.