Tuesday October 04, 2022

Foreign funding case: PTI submits no details to EC scrutiny panel

February 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Tuesday submitted no details to the scrutiny committee of the Election about the funds received by its four employees, including a central office telephone operator.

The committee, which met briefly on Monday, resumed its proceedings Tuesday to review Akbar S Babar’s petition seeking requisition of the accounts of four PTI employees, who were authorised by a six-member PTI finance board in July 2011 to receive donations from Pakistan and abroad.

Sources said PTI counsel Shah Khawar admitted that they had submitted no details of funds received by the four PTI employees, including the central office telephone operator and office helper, either through cash or cheques with the record furnished with the Commission.

Babar’s counsel Badar Iqbal Chaudhry read out the PTI central finance secretary's recent statement that accepted transfer of funds to the private bank accounts of PTI employees through the money changer from the UAE.

He pointed out that the central finance secretary had yet to disown his statement, while the PTI’s written response before the Scrutiny Committee continued to disown its own finance secretary's admission of illegal funding.

Moreover, he demanded that the committee should requisition the personal bank accounts of the four PTI employees designated to receive donations from Pakistan and abroad. “This is only way forward for the committee to ascertain the scale and scope of illegal funding,” he argued.

It was emphasised before the committee that without placing all the PTI bank statements within and outside Pakistan, the scrutiny process would remain incomplete and without credence, whereas hitherto not a single PTI bank statement out of the six international accounts identified and accepted by PTI, has been placed before the committee.

The committee witnessed an interesting discussion when the special audit authorised on the written sanction of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in March 2013, was again discussed. On the one hand, PTI disowns its own audit, on the other, it continues to quote the audit when finding appropriate.

The audit report had validated all the allegations of the petitioner including front accounts of PTI employees illegally used for fund raising. Without announcing the next date of hearing, the committee adjourned its meeting. It also decided to postpone decision on whether or not it would requisition personal bank accounts of four PTI employees through the State Bank of Pakistan.

Afterwards, in his media talk, Babar reiterated his demand that the Scrutiny Committee should investigate the private bank accounts of PTI employees, which, he alleged, were illegally used as a front to collect donations.

He emphasised that when the PTI central finance secretary had admitted to front accounts and receipt of donations, there was no reason to further delay full and unfettered investigations of these accounts.

He said no audit was complete without putting all the national and international bank accounts statements on the table. “So far, the committee has kept all 23 PTI bank statements, revealed through the State Bank of Pakistan, secret and made no effort to requisition the PTI international bank statements.