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Sunday February 25, 2024

PTI kept getting foreign funds beyond 2013

Documents reveal that the PTI continued to receive foreign funding beyond 2013, though the ECP has ruled that the PTI received prohibited funding from 2008 to 2013

November 20, 2022
PTI kept getting foreign funds beyond 2013. The News/File
PTI kept getting foreign funds beyond 2013. The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Although the ECP has ruled that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf received prohibited funding from 2008 to 2013, documents reveal that the PTI continued to receive foreign funding beyond 2013.

The PTI received $401,956 from donors, including foreign-registered entities in the United States, from October 2014 to March 2015.

PTI stalwarts Ali Zaidi and Imran Ismail visited the United States and organised fundraisers from October 2014 to March 2015. The party generated $401,956.30 in funds during the period, of which $305,000 were transferred to Pakistan to the party’s accounts.

However, it is unclear which party accounts received these funds. Even the PTI’s Office of International Chapter (OIC) Secretary Abdullah Riar, who deals with the party’s overseas affairs, has no information about the amount in question. Interestingly, the party also received funds and donations from individual donors and foreign-registered entities. The documents submitted before the US Department of Justice contain a list of the donors, according to which the party received donations from several foreign-registered companies. The ECP, in its foreign funding case verdict, has already declared such transactions as prohibited funding. In its verdict on the PTI foreign funding case, the ECP said that the party “knowingly and willfully” received donations from foreign registered entities violating Pakistani laws.

“PTI Pakistan, through fundraising campaigns by PTI USA LLC-6160 and PTI USA LLC-5975, was the recipient of donations from 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies.

“Collection of donations and contributions from foreign nationals and companies is prohibited and in violation of Pakistani laws,” the verdict says. “Therefore, the matter falls within the ambit of Article 6(3) of the Political Parties Order 2002 (PPO).” Article 6(3) of the PPO states: “Any contribution made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign government, a multinational or domestically incorporated public or private company, firm, trade, or professional association shall be prohibited, and the parties may accept contributions and donations only from individuals.” PTI USA LLC 6160 submitted a supplemental report to the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) from October 2014 to March 2015. The report says that two members of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) visited the United States and carried out fundraising activities on behalf of the PTI. Both Ali Zaidi and Imran Ismail organised several fund-raising events in various cities in the United States. The report submitted before the US Department of Justice on April 30, 2015, says that the PTI received $401,956 in donations in six months. The party’s US chapter transferred the money to PTI’s accounts in Pakistan in five different tranches. According to the documents, the first tranche of $45,000 was transferred on Oct 29, 2014, the second of $55,000 on Nov 20, 2014, the third of $55,000 on Dec 1, 2014, the fourth of $75,000 on Dec 15, 2014, and the fifth tranche of $75,000 was transferred on Feb 2, 2015.

The list of donors annexed to the supplementary report shows that several foreign-registered entities also funded the PTI during the period mentioned above. The foreign-registered entities that donated to the PTI include Healing Hands of Virginia Fantasy Activewear, SOA AGILITY, Northside Cardiology, SK Financial CPA LLC, Paris Limousine Service Corp., Autobahn Limousine, Marwat Associates, LLC, Suzanne Poulin, Reliable Assets Inc. Trading Corporation, Crescent Cleaning Services, Route 69 Country Store, TSC1 Enterprises of Texas LP, and Sunrise Business Inc. Epic Consulting LLC, East West Realty LLC, Medex Research Institute LLC, and Magnum Opus Systems CORP.

Abdullah Riar, Secretary, PTI OIC (Office of International Chapter), in his response to a written query from this scribe, said: “Please contact parties in question directly to seek your answers.” I have no information for the period in question to assist you.”