Babar issues report on PTI foreign funding

Claims the party received ‘illegal funds’ of Rs2.2b from 2009 to 2013


Saqib Virk July 13, 2021
Akbar S Babar. PHOTO: INP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

 

Disgruntled PTI leader Akbar S Babar has issued a fact finding report allegedly prepared on the basis of the banking details provided by the PTI to a scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and claimed that the party received illegal foreign funding of over Rs2 billion in 2009-13.

“Fact finding report by two financial analysts of the PTI documents submitted before the ECP reveal illegal funding to the tune of Rs2.2 billion,” Babar wrote in one of his social media posts on Tuesday.

“Detailed report [has been] submitted before the ECP. Report to be submitted before the SCP [Supreme Court of Pakistan] soon,” he added.

Earlier talking to the media, the PTI founding member unveiled the 4-page report while also calling for dissolving the scrutiny committee hearing the foreign funding case for the past 3 years and urging the ECP to hear the case on its own.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan should also resign now as he has often said that a public office holder must step down until he is exonerated of an allegation,” Babar said.

He said his team reviewed the documents submitted by the ruling party to the scrutiny committee and did in 50 hours what the committee has “failed” to do in the past three years.

Also read: Request for PTI funding record rejected

According to the report, the documents and record provided by the PTI to the scrutiny committee were incomplete and did not represent a true account of the party’s financial matter and yet the available data showed that the PTI received Rs2.2 billion through prohibited funding or funding without source.

It said even the documents provided by the PTI were not authentic or verifiable. “These documents are not original; photocopies are not verified, signed or stamped; bank statements are not on letterhead; donors’ lists are not signed, stamped or certified.”

The report said the ruling party did not provide the record and information sought by the scrutiny committee on April 25, 2018. It also did provide cash books, bank books, general ledger, trial balance and donation receipt books.

It claimed that the PTI also failed to submit “annual audited/unaudited accounts/financial statements of international companies and entities of the PTI. “Book statements of international companies/entities of the PTI have not been provided,” the report added.

The fact finding report said the lists of donors provided by the PTI remained unverifiable due to non-provision of information through which the donors can be identified and verified “including the CNIC numbers, addresses [and] contact details],” it added.

The report, however, listed eighteen different suspected transactions that took place between 2009 and 2013. These transactions – made by suspected or unknown donors – added up to over Rs2.2 billion.

According to the report, there is a need to investigate transfer of Rs1.5m and Rs7m respectively to the accounts of incumbent Minister for Planning Asad Umar and PTI leader Ayla Malik.

PTI’s request

Meanwhile, the ECP has sought a report from the scrutiny committee on the PTI’s request that it should also be given access to the bank account details submitted by two major opposition parties – PML-N and PPP – in connection with an investigation into their alleged foreign funding.

Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib later talking to reporters dismissed Akbar S Babar’s fact finding report and said that Babar was allegedly getting paid by the PML-N to pursue this case.

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