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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri on Tuesday challenged the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to come forward with proof, if the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) or the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has received any foreign funding.

While addressing a news conference along with PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi, she said that Imran Khan, expecting that this decision would be against him, started blaming other political parties of receiving foreign funding.

Marri expressed concerns that still the PTI leaders are defending their crimes following the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s judgment, adding their act is shameful.

She said legal action would be taken following the judgment of the ECP proving financial crimes committed by the PTI.

The minister said that the founding member of the PTI, Akbar S Babar, who had filed the prohibited funding case against his own party, pursued the case with great determination and commitment.

Marri said that the ECP’s judgment has proved that Imran Khan has been running his party affairs through prohibited funding. On what agenda he was working within Pakistan through this funding, she questioned.

It is clearly stated in the political orders of the parties that from which sources the political parties cannot get funding, she said.

The ECP’s decision has proved that Imran Khan is “a liar” and not “Sadiq” and “Ameen” anymore. He submitted false affidavits before the ECP and delayed the decision for the last eight years through writ petitions.

Imran Khan received over two million US dollars from Arif Naqvi and big amounts from 34 Indian industrialists for running his political party’s affairs. He also received thousands of dollars from the US-based businesswoman of Indian origin.

Over 350 foreign companies provided funding to Imran Khan for running his political party, she added.

“Now the legal process will be followed in light of this decision,” she said.

Marri said the ECP’s judgment has shown that Imran Khan has committed a serious crime of receiving prohibited funding and now he has to be answerable before the masses that on what agenda he was working.

Imran Khan, who used to call others thieves, robber, and imported, himself is declared a liar by the ECP, she said. How a person who was running a political party on foreign funding can realise the sufferings of a common man, she asked.

The way he led the country towards bankruptcy during the period of four years reflects that he has nothing to do with this country and its people, she said.

The ECP on Tuesday announced the verdict in the prohibited funding case against the PTI.

The ECP, in its unanimous verdict, ruled that the party received funds from business tycoon, Arif Naqvi, and from 34 foreign nationals. It went on to say that the party had taken ownership of eight accounts and kept 16 hidden.

Unknown accounts have also come to light. The commission in its verdict added that hiding accounts is a “violation” of Article 17 of the Constitution.

The electoral watchdog also decided to issue a show-cause notice to the PTI to explain why the commission should not seize the funds it received.

The commission also said that the PTI chief Imran Khan had submitted a “mis-declaration” with the commission.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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