ISLAMABAD: In what appeared to be a huge setback to two major opposition parties — PML-N and PPP — in the Foreign Funding case — a report by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) submitted Thursday to Scrutiny Committee of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) probing the high-profile case “revealed” that PML-N had 12 and PPP had seven undeclared bank accounts which both the political parties did not disclose to ECP.
Three-member Scrutiny Committee headed by its Chairman and ECP Director General (Law) Muhammad Arshad held hearing of the Foreign Funding case against PML-N and PPP.
During the course of proceedings, the SBP submitted its report on the accounts of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The report “revealed” that PML-N operated five bank accounts in financial year 2013-14 and seven bank accounts in financial year 2014-15.
The PPP had seven bank accounts. All these accounts of PML-N and PPP were not declared in apparent violation of Article 17 (3) of Constitution of Pakistan and Section 13 (1) of Political Parties Order 2002.
In addition, the PML-N admitted before the Scrutiny Committee that it had 16 major overseas Pakistanis donors.
However, the Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers of seven of these 16 donors were not provided.
The PPP, on the other hand, did not present any record of any donor.
“Both these parties stand badly exposed today,” said Farrukh Habib, the Member National Assembly (MNA) from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), speaking to journalists outside ECP after the case hearing.
“Today’s proceedings of (Scrutiny Committee) are gist of our four-year struggle. This explains why both PML-N and PPP were shying away from the proceedings of Scrutiny Committee by not presenting their financial record and the committee had to write to SBP to get the details of their finances,” he said
Habib said PPP gave PPP Parliamentarians (PPPP) Rs 100 million but no break-up or details of the transfer of such huge amount of money was provided to ECP by PPP and PPPP. “It is totally illegal that one political party is transferring funds to another political party,” he said.
“You (PML-N and PPP) kept asking us and sought our financial details. We came clean. We submitted a detailed record of PTI’s 40,000 overseas Pakistanis donors to ECP. Now, it’s our turn to ask you; why you kept your bank accounts hidden? What’s wrong with your finances? We will not let you run away from scrutiny. Fake Qatari letter and fake trust deed would not save you, fake princess. Fake chairman, you are also in deep trouble,” Habib said referring to Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
He said there were “glaring contradictions” in the opening and closing balances of the accounts of PML-N and PPP.
The case was adjourned till April 13.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021