In a new damning revelation, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had given false information on funding received from abroad and in fact, hid its real assets to the tune of Pak Rupees (PKR) 310 million.
The report of the ECP’s scrutiny committee has come like a bombshell to the party and its leader at a time when the Prime Minister stands isolated both domestically and internationally, reported The Singapore Post. The opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called the PTI, a “party of thieves”.
The ECP report, which was made public on 5 January 2022, informed that the PTI received PKR 1.64 billion in funding. The ECP had formed a Scrutiny Committee in 2019 to audit foreign funding received by the PTI. Ironically, this was done at the behest of one of the PTI’s founding members Akbar S Babar in 2014.
He had then alleged that the PTI had got funds from illegal sources abroad. On the ECP’s report being made public recently, Babar tweeted his thanks to Allah, saying he stood “vindicated”, reported The Singapore Post.
According to the data given by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to the ECP, the PTI has 26 bank accounts. Between 2008 and 2013, the PTI disclosed receipt of funds amounting to PKR 1.33 billion to the ECP, whereas SBP figures show the actual amount received at PKR 1.64 billion. The ECP report states that PTI failed to disclose three bank accounts, thus the discrepancy in receipt of funds, reported The Singapore Post.
More damning was the revelation that the PTI had received USD 2.34 million from the US, but the committee had been unable to access these bank accounts. Further, the PTI also received funds from the UK, Denmark, Dubai, Japan, Canada and Australia, apart from a few other countries.
A private bank provided details to SBP regarding USD 2.2 million funds being received by the PTI from Dubai, however, the scrutiny committee couldn’t get further details. It was also unable to obtain information related to the funds received from the UK and Europe.
The ECP scrutiny team report also revealed that the PTI had concealed 53 bank accounts, reporting only 12 in the foreign funding case. The report said the SBP revealed that the PTI had 65 bank accounts, reported The Singapore Post.
This is not the first time that Imran Khan or his party the PTI have been accused of corruption. In 2018, in the run-up to the publication of the Pandora Papers, Pakistani television station, ARY-News had reported, “the owner of two offshore companies registered at a similar address as of Prime Minister Imran Khan has revealed that they were registered by him on a different address and denied any role of the premier in this regard.”
The Pandora Papers also revealed that key members of Khan’s inner circle, including cabinet ministers, their families, and major financial backers had secretly owned an array of companies and trusts holding millions of dollars of hidden wealth, reported The Singapore Post.