PTI ‘disowns’ accounts opened, operated by top leaders

Published March 25, 2022
This combo photo shows Sindh Governor Imran Ismail (left) and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. — Photos: Twitter
This combo photo shows Sindh Governor Imran Ismail (left) and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. — Photos: Twitter

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has disowned nearly a dozen ‘unauthorised’ bank accounts that were opened and operated by, among others, key leaders such as National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman.

The revelation came in written replies submitted by the party to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on March 15, in response to questions raised by a report of the commission’s scrutiny committee.

On page 112 of the reply, the party disowned the 11 accounts and said a total of Rs23.22 million was transferred to them from PTI’s Central Accounts. The party also admitted that an amount of Rs57m was deposited in the 11 accounts from local sources, which were never accounted for with the Central Accounts.

In its response, the party claimed that the moment it learned about the bank accounts, it initiated “an appropriate and required exercise” to ascertain whether the accounts pertained to the PTI, details of the persons who opened and operated the accounts and details and nature of all financial transactions carried out.

In report submitted to ECP, party claims it was ‘unaware’ of accounts until SBP disclosure

“Accordingly, PTI Finance Depart­ment communicated with the concerned bank, requesting bank state­ment(s), bank signatories, and other relevant information,” the PTI said.

The banks provided the information in response to the PTI’s request, the reply said. It stated that the party carried out a detailed analysis and review of the information and bank statements and identified the individuals who opened the accounts.

The PTI submitted to the ECP that the 11 accounts were operated by individuals who were not authorised by the competent authority and that these were being operated without the knowledge of the party’s finance department.

Others named as operators of ‘unauthorised accounts’ include Senior Punjab Minister Mian Mahmud-ur-Rasheed, former president of PTI Punjab late Ahsan Rasheed, former MPA from Sindh and renowned architect Samar Ali Khan, former MPA from Sindh Seema Zia, Sindh MNA Najeeb Haroon, former president of PTI Sindh Jahangir Rehman, former PTI general secretary from KP Khalid Masood and close friend and adviser of Imran Khan, late Naeemul Haq.

Yet others on the list include M. Ahsan Naveed, Syed M. Javaid, Sheikh Awais, Zafarullah Khan Khattak, Hamidul Haq, Sulman Bashir Awan, Sheikh Muhammad Hussain, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Bashir Ahmad, Muhammad Anwar, Rushna Shoaib, Farah Naz and Muhammad Saleem Khan.

“It is to bring the fact on record that bank account No ... maintained with … came to the knowledge and information of PTI upon the disclosure of the same by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)”, all the identical replies about the 11 accounts said.

The replies said the SBP shared with the ECP’s Scrutiny Committee a list of all bank accounts opened in the name of PTI since the party’s inception, and the committee shared the same list with the party.

The 11 PTI accounts are disowned by the PTI on pages 113, 118, 120, 132, 144, 157, 159, 169, 178, 197, and page 199 of PTI’s written reply submitted to the ECP.

The report of the ECP Scrutiny Committee was shared with the party on Jan 4. After repeated reminders, the PTI finally submitted its comments on March 15, after a delay of two and a half months.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2022

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