Islamabad [Pakistan]: Calling former Prime Minister Imran Khan a “conman”, Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the foreign funding verdict has busted Imran’s claims and he has deceived people in the name of honesty and transparency.
The ECP in the August 2 verdict in PTI’s prohibited funding case, declared PTI to be a “foreign-funded party”. Imran and his party members had rejected the decision, calling it “illegal and unconstitutional”. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said over the decades, Imran deceived people in the name of honesty, transparency, and accountability reported Pakistan’s local media outlet The Nation.
In a tweet, Shehbaz Sharif said, “The foreign funding verdict has busted his (Imran) claims & showed him for what he actually is: a con man. The coalition government will take the verdict to its logical conclusion.”
He said for eight years, Imran Niazi used all means, fair and foul to delay the judgment. “It includes 9 petitions in IHC & over 50 adjournments. For 5 years, he willfully & knowingly submitted false affidavits. It is proven now that PTI is a foreign-aided party without any shadow of a doubt.”
Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday hit back at the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan in the PTI foreign funding case and said that taking money from foreign companies was not illegal in 2012.
According to the Dawn, Imran Khan, while virtually addressing his supporters protesting at Islamabad’s F-9 park, said, “The law which prohibited taking funds from foreign companies was introduced in 2017…but our case is from 2012.”
During the protest, Khan criticised the verdict of ECP and said that PTI was the only party that raised money through political fundraising, unlike other parties (PML-N and PPP) which he said were run by “mafias”.
He said, “Across the world, political parties raise money by hosting dinners,” explaining that the donations during those events were later given to the party.
“Ask these two parties why don’t they do this. I will tell you […] because they know no one will give them money…And this is the reason why I kept demanding that all the parties should be investigated together.
The nation should know how they raise money,” Imran said, alleging that ECP’s verdict proved that it couldn’t see PTI succeeding, the Dawn quoted Imran Khan as saying.
PTI chief questioned if the money raised overseas by Pakistanis is wrong. He said, “They are calling it foreign funding. Tell me, if this money is foreign funding, then what about the remittances and the money that is sent for earthquakes and floods?”
“The ECP is almost saying that money sent by overseas Pakistanis will be regarded as foreign funding,” he said.
As per media reports, the UK newspaper Financial Times revealed how the PTI accrued funds through cricket matches organized under Wootton Cricket Ltd, a company owned by Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi.
As per the report, Naqvi transferred three installments directly to the PTI in 2013, adding up to a total of USD 2.12 million.
Speaking of Arif Naqvi and the Financial Times report, Imran Khan said that his party had received the money in 2012 from two fundraising dinners that Naqvi had organized.
He clarified that the businessman was charged with fraud six years later in 2018 and questioned how he could have known about that in 2012.
“There was nothing wrong with the PTI receiving money from a foreign company of Naqvi in 2012 since it was still allowed at the time,” Imran said adding, “it only became illegal later in 2017,” the Dawn quoted Imran Khan as saying.
On the call of Imran Khan, PTI protestors today gathered at Islamabad’s F-9 park to protest against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.
They raised slogans against the poll body demanding the resignation of all its officials.