A brief timeline of the foreign funding case

A brief timeline of the foreign funding case
After a relatively long silence, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) foreign funding case has been making headlines once again.

The case was lodged by none other than one of the founding members of the PTI, Akbar S Babar.

Babar filed the case with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on November 14, 2014, and alleged that the PTI received funds from foreign companies and foreign nationals through undeclared accounts. According to the constitution of Pakistan, political parties are prohibited from taking donations from foreign-registered companies and non-Pakistani citizens.

A brief timeline of the foreign funding case

November 14, 2014: Petition filed before the ECP based on evidence of illegal funding, money-laundering, and corruption. The petition demands that the ECP take all those in PTI leadership responsible, from party chairman Imran Khan to others in the Finance Board, to task per the law for gross violations of political funding laws.

November 18, 2014: Petitioner Akbar S Babar received a death threat from a PTI member, personally close to Imran Khan, and was told to back off from the legal course.

November 21, 2014: Babar sent a letter to the federal interior secretary demanding an investigation of the death threats made on midnight of November 18, 2014, and requested to be provided with security.

April 1, 2015: The ECP passed an order explicitly stating that PTI annual audit reports submitted before the commission did not include details and sources of funds, a requirement under the law.

October 8, 2015: ECP rejected PTI objections on maintainability of the petition and jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the case and ordered scrutiny of records on November 10, 2015.

November 26, 2015: PTI filed a writ petition in Islamabad High Court challenging ECP jurisdiction and the PTI’s membership of Akbar S Babar.

February 17, 2017: Case sent back to the ECP after a delay of a year and a half after reasserting ECP’s jurisdiction and rejecting the petition challenging PTI membership of Akbar S Babar.

May 8, 2017: The ECP again stated that there was not an iota of evidence to support the claim that Akbar S Babar had been expelled from PTI.

Since November 2014, PTI has filed five writ petitions in the IHC challenging ECP’s jurisdiction to scrutinize PTI accounts and the PTI membership of Akbar S Babar.


On July 3, 2018, the ECP asked the State Bank of Pakistan to produce PTI financial records for the period 2009-2013. The SBP complied by writing letters to all scheduled bank presidents demanding that PTI bank statements be submitted to the ECP by July 16, 2018.

The scrutiny was stalled after an initial examination of PTI bank statements revealed 23 bank accounts all over Pakistan operated by PTI leadership as against a total of eight declared before the ECP. These accounts have been used for transactions worth billions of rupees in both Pakistani rupees and foreign currencies, all illegal.

The foreign-funding case is a ticking time bomb for PTI and Khan.