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Funds for the party

According to data submitted to the Election Commission by the State Bank of Pakistan, the PTI had as many as 26 bank accounts. Between 2008 and 2013, the party had disclosed funds to the poll panel totalling PKR 1.33 billion. This is in contrast to the State Bank report which mentions the actual amount to be PKR 1.64 billion. Nay more, the party had even failed to disclose details of three banks in the documentation provided to the Election Commission.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Imran Khan’s ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, suffered a crucial setback on Wednesday with Pakistan’s Election Commission finding that it had grossly under-reported funds received from foreign nationals, firms and banks. The PTI is said to have under-reported PKR (Pakistan rupees) 312 million over a four-year period, specifically between 2009- 10 and 2012-13.

In terms of periodisation, the alleged irregularities precede 2018, when Imran Khan assumed power. Nonetheless, he was very much the leader of the party during the years of the fiscal foozle. The year-wise break-up reveals that an amount exceeding PKR 145 million was under-reported in fiscal 2012-13 alone. The government in Islamabad has binned the report as “inaccurate”; it has even demanded an inquiry into the accounts of Opposition parties, thus lending a political edge to the finding at a time when the Prime Minister is under pressure over matters domestic. Markedly, the fiscal irregularity was not denied.

According to data submitted to the Election Commission by the State Bank of Pakistan, the PTI had as many as 26 bank accounts. Between 2008 and 2013, the party had disclosed funds to the poll panel totalling PKR 1.33 billion. This is in contrast to the State Bank report which mentions the actual amount to be PKR 1.64 billion. Nay more, the party had even failed to disclose details of three banks in the documentation provided to the Election Commission.

According to the report, some 1,414 companies in Pakistan, 47 foreign companies and 119 “potential companies” had provided funds to Imran Khan’s party. It had also received $ 2.3 million by way of funds from the United States of America, but the probe committee could not access the US bank accounts, the report stated. The contributors of such largesse include 4,755 Pakistanis, 41 “non-Pakistanis” and 230 foreign companies. The PTI also received funds from Dubai (petro-dollars), the United Kingdom, Denmark, Japan, Canada and Australia.

The committee could not procure details of any of these offshore transactions, however. There is dire need to clear the air though it is unlikely that the report will rock the boat in Islamabad quite yet. Much of what has been divulged is still rather fogbound though Imran Khan has responded rather swiftly, indicating that some other parties in the Opposition are no less involved.

Indeed, the Information and Broadcasting minister, Fawad Chaudhry, has termed the scrutiny committee’s report as “inaccurate”. He has demanded an inquiry into the accounts of Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Pakistan People’s Party. The report was tabled when the Election Commission of Pakistan resumed hearing of a foreign funding case against PTI on Tuesday, after nine months.

Last week’s National Security Policy was Imran Khan’s attempt to shore up the image of his government. It covers all the primary parameters of governance, notably the economy and dealings with countries abroad. The ruling party’s funds and funding call for an investigation.