ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday challenged the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to produce evidence of its claim that they had received funding from abroad.
The counsel for the two parties appeared before the scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and argued that they had not received any foreign funds.
After the committee meeting, PML-N’s counsel Jehangir Jadoon told Dawn that the party had already submitted details of its donors along with their CNIC numbers, stressing that all these funds had been collected locally.
He said the PML-N had also submitted its documents, including bank statements, and the ECP could verify them through the State Bank of Pakistan.
He claimed that the complainant, PTI MNA Farrukh Habib, while answering a question during the committee’s meeting, said he had no proof against the PML-N.
The counsel said he asked the committee to wind up the proceedings in the absence of any proof of wrongdoing and expressed concern over the uncalled-for delay in taking the ‘baseless’ case to its logical conclusion.
Jadoon, however, noted that the committee was deliberately dragging the matter.
“Perhaps it wants to decide all the foreign funding cases, including the one against the PTI, together,” he remarked.
He said the committee had stated that it would give a new questionnaire, but it was yet be received.
Meanwhile, informed sources told Dawn that the ECP committee on Monday sought details of donors from the PPP.
They said the committee asked for the details on demand of the PTI’s counsel and the PPP promised to produce the same in the next session.
A source in the PPP said Farrukh Habib had in his complaint alleged that the PPP had incorporated a company in the United States by the name of PPP LLC to collect illegal funds and remit them to Pakistan. However, he did not submit a single piece of paper in support of his allegation of any such company having been formed by the PPP in the US.
He said the PPP had nothing to do with the PPP LLC, registered in the US, adding that the LLC was in fact in the business of plastic scrap recycling for decades.
He said the company had been incorporated in the US in 1967. “This company or its business has no nexus with the PPP.”
The documents downloaded from the company’s website were attached at pages 10 to 14 of the reply submitted by the PPP to the ECP, he remarked.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2021