PTI releases details of over Rs88m collected in UK

Published February 19, 2021
This file photo shows PTI chairman Imran Khan addresseing PTI workers outside Bani Gala. —Reuters/File
This file photo shows PTI chairman Imran Khan addresseing PTI workers outside Bani Gala. —Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday released details of millions of rupees of funds transferred from the United Kingdom to the party’s account this year.

Releasing details of the funding, PTI’s Overseas International Chapter’s secretary Dr Abdullah Riyar said Rs88.7 million received from the UK was a “slap in the face of drummers”. He said that despite a shameful and false propaganda campaign against the party, thousands of Pakistanis joined the PTI by sending money from their own pockets.

Dr Riyar said that 11,208 overseas Pakistanis joined the PTI in the UK this year and they paid 36 pounds each as membership fee. He said this membership fee of PTI’s foreign branches was an important and permanent source of finance for the party.

He said the membership fee paid by workers had been transferred to the party’s account through formal channels, adding that data and details of every worker who paid the membership fee were safe.

Dr Riyar said the details of PTI membership in other countries would also be released.

On the other hand, PTI’s founding member and petitioner in the foreign funding case against the ruling party Akbar S. Babar said the PTI’s latest statement on the funds collected from the UK was a “laughable attempt to hoodwink public opinion” as no such record of funding from Britain had been submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Mr Babar said in a statement that the PTI continued to make hollow public statements which were subsequently denied by the party’s lawyers before the ECP.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had on January 20 made a public offer of ending secrecy in the foreign funding case which was subsequently denied in writing by the PTI lawyer before the ECP’s scrutiny committee on Feb 2.

Similarly, he added, PTI’s central finance secretary had on Feb 9 publicly admitted that funds were received from the United Arab Emirates through money changers into the private bank accounts of four employees of the PTI central office, including a telephone operator. However, on Feb 15, the PTI lawyer flatly denied it in writing before the scrutiny committee.

Mr Babar said the PTI had 50 international chapters with bank accounts, adding that he had identified seven international bank accounts of the party, including two Lloyds Bank accounts in Britain, which had been concealed from the ECP.

These international bank accounts of the PTI, he said, included Australia Account No: 45838549859; ANZ Banking Group Ltd, USA Bank of America accounts: 488037228011, 488028507602 and 488037228024; Canada’s CIBC Bank account: 228428706; and UK’s Lloyds Bank accounts: 00191424 and 26675768.

Mr Babar said that to date not a single PTI international bank statement had been produced before the scrutiny committee despite repeated orders. He challenged the PTI spokesperson to submit in writing his latest claim of fundraising from Britain along with Lloyd’s Bank statements, instead of trying to “fool people with tall but false claims of transparency”.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2021

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