- Information minister says ECP should make funding records of all parties public
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the only political party in the country that uses a legal and elaborate system of funding, adding that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should probe and make public the funding sources of other political organisations.
"PTI's workers across the world fund the party because they trust Prime Minister Imran Khan," Fawad said while addressing a press conference alongside Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib.
"There is no question of foreign funding," the minister said, adding the accounts being scrutinised by the ECP are those of the party's subsidiaries, and not directly linked to the PTI."
The minister congratulated the party's chief accountant for effectively managing the funding issue and implementing an elaborate system of counting to keep track of all details.
He further said that billions of rupees are collected by the PTI every year and no irregularities exist over the issue.
Meanwhile, PTI has decided to submit its objections to the record submitted by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to the Scrutiny Committee in the Foreign Funding case.
In its objections, the ruling party is expected to take the stance that both major opposition parties “failed” to justify their funding from abroad, according to informed officials.
Earlier, State Information Minister Farrukh Habib publically stated that the record including the details of donations from overseas Pakistanis including LCC (life cycle costing) account, the names, addresses, computerized national identity card numbers and contact numbers of the overseas donors, the details of related bank transactions, relevant bank statements, and receipts of relevant financial activities were submitted by the PTI to the committee.
On Monday, he alleged that the PML-N has maintained nine and PPP 11 secret bank accounts. “PTI has introduced the concept of political fundraising. It is the only political party that has not received any funding from any interest group. Overseas Pakistanis are our major financers, and all of our accounts have been declared before the ECP,” he said.
The minister said that every political party’s finances should be declared in public, adding that the party has prepared a report on the mis-declaration of accounts by the PML-N and the PPP.
“PML-N has given details of only two of its bank accounts. There is no record of their 98 percent donations,” he alleged, “they have used their secret accounts to legalise their ill-gotten wealth.”
The minister demanded the ECP to convene a daily hearing on the party funding case of all three parties.
Last month, ECP decided to fix a regular hearing of the PTI Foreign Funding Case from January 4, 2022.
The decision was taken in a top-level ECP meeting that reviewed the report of Scrutiny Committee submitted to the electoral body.
On August 27 last year, the Scrutiny Committee submitted its first report to ECP regarding PTI’s finances in Foreign Funding Case but the commission rejected this report, termed it incomplete, and directed the committee to refurnish the report latest by October 22, 2020, but the committee failed to meet this deadline.
On October 23 last year, the ECP expressed ‘satisfaction’ over the Scrutiny Committee’s progress into Foreign Funding Case and allowed the panel to go ahead with the probe and complete the final report as early as possible but did not specify any timeframe in this regard.
In March 2018, the ECP formed the Scrutiny Committee to scrutinize the funds of PTI and to submit its report in a month but the committee failed to furnish its report within the given timeline.