ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib has demanded scrutiny of the bank accounts of main opposition parties PML-N and PPP.
Talking to reporters outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Wednesday, he claimed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had failed to submit to the ECP any financial record of its funding despite the passage of four years.
He said the foreign funding case against the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party was initiated in 2017, but the former kept its 12 bank accounts secret, whereas the latter did not disclose details of its seven bank accounts.
He asked the PML-N to submit the party’s funding record to the ECP so that people could know how its leaders used the party accounts either to launder money or whiten their black money.
Transactions of millions of rupees were done through the two opposition parties’ bank accounts, he alleged, adding that those facts were needed to be brought to the fore as it was not only the requirement of the Political Parties Order, 2002 and the Elections Act, 2017, but also the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Hanif Abbasi case.
Mr Habib claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was the only party which provided details of its bank accounts to the ECP.
The minister called upon the ECP to allow its financial experts to pursue all financial documents of the PML-N and PPP submitted to the scrutiny committee.
Farrukh says PML-N has kept 12 and PPP seven bank accounts secret in foreign funding case
He expressed the hope that the PTI would also be allowed to take along financial experts during the security committee’s meeting for scrutinising financial records of the two parties.
Permission had already been given to other parties in the PTI foreign funding case, he said.
Commenting on PML-N’s allegations of rigging in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, he expressed astonishment over the logic given by Ahsan Iqbal and Raja Farooq Haider that their party won only six seats after bagging 0.5 million votes while the PTI clinched 25 seats after securing 0.65 million votes.
He asked them as to why they did not opt for those skills of mathematics when the PML-N bagged more than 125 seats after getting over 10 million votes in the 2013 general elections while the PTI won only 25 seats after securing 7.6 million votes.
He said the PML-N had lost the AJK elections due to its narrative which remained limited to criticism of Prime Minister Imran Khan who in fact played a crucial role in internationalising the Kashmir issue and emerged as a true ambassador of the people of Kashmir.
Maryam Safdar did not criticise Narendara Modi and condemn his RSS ideology, the minister said, adding that she did not even support Hurriyat leaders during the AJK election campaign.
He said the survey, released by Gallup Survey before the AJK elections, pointed out that the PTI enjoyed 44 per cent popular support in the valley, while the PML-N and PPP had 12pc and 9pc, respectively.
Both parties had no competition with the PTI and they were competing for second and third positions in the AJK elections, the minister said.
Published in Dawn, July 29th , 2021