The ruling PTI hid funds worth millions of rupees from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the report of an ECP scrutiny committee probing the party’s funds revealed on Tuesday.
The report stated that the PTI provided “false information” regarding the party’s funding to the ECP.
It said that SBP’s bank statement revealed that the party had received Rs1.64 billion in funding.
According to the report, the party did not disclose funding worth more than Rs310 million to the ECP.
The scrutiny committee was formed in 2019 to audit foreign funding received by the PTI. The case began in 2014 when the party’s founding member, Akbar S Babar, filed it.
Babar alleged that the PTI received funding from illegal sources and that the party was also involved in money laundering, according to Dawn.
Today, in a Twitter post, Babar thanked Allah, saying he stands “vindicated”.
Meanwhile, in a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that according to the report “there is no question of foreign funding”, as he demanded scrutiny of the accounts of the PML-N, PPP and all other political parties.
“The report [of the ECP scrutiny committee] does not point towards foreign funding […] it has been decided that there is no case of foreign funding,” the information minister said.
He demanded the election commission put the facts of the foreign funding case before the nation, so the people can themselves analyse which party is raising funds through which means.
‘PTI collects funds transparently’
Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar earlier in the day said PTI had the “most transparent” process of receiving funds as everything was documented.
Talking to journalists outside the ECP office in Islamabad, the minister said scrutinising bank accounts related to foreign funding of political parties was the ECP’s job.
However, he stressed that the commission must do its work in the most transparent and impartial way.
“If ECP accomplishes its work transparently and impartially, it would have a very positive impact on Pakistan’s politics,” he said.
The federal minister said scrutiny committees for bank accounts of PPP and PML-N had also been formed, and the ECP should also review reports prepared for those parties’ bank accounts.
“There are a large number of secret accounts of the PPP and PML-N in addition to other accounts opened in the names of fake persons,” the federal minister said.
— Additional input from APP