The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cannot hold open proceedings in the foreign funding case, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
According to the spokesperson, the scrutiny committee’s powers are similar to that of a joint investigation team, which is why the hearings cannot be held publicly.
“A public hearing will also make it difficult for the committee to work,” he said. The spokesperson said that it was an “important and sensitive” case for which the verdict will be done based on “merit” and “national interest”. “Unnecessary and unsubstantiated comments on the case should be avoided,” he said.
According to the spokesperson, the case is already being heard in the ECP with the petitioners, media and other people from related agencies
taking part in the hearings. He added that a scrutiny committee hears the points of view of both the party accused and the complainant.
The official stated that after reviewing the positions, the committee will forward its “comprehensive recommendations” to the ECP. The ECP
will then put forward these recommendations to both the parties in an open hearing, he said.
“The ECP will hear the arguments of both sides and decide the case on merit,” said the spokesperson, adding that the body will decide the
case without any “fear or pressure”.