ISLAMABAD: While shunning Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif’s allegations as “baseless”, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan declared on Tuesday that he will take Asif to courts and requested that the Chief Justice of Pakistan hear the case “at the earliest” so that the truth is brought before the public.
Asif welcomed Khan’s decision to challenge his allegations in the court.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Khan said, “Since the elections are nearing, they are going to target Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) and Sita White in their campaigns to malign my name. If he is truthful, then the case should be dealt by the Supreme Court so that the situation is made clear to the masses.”
Addressing to the chief justice, he said he was not building “factories” with the donation money, but was building institutions for the people of Pakistan.
He said that the biggest responsibility of a politician is to secure public money and to spend it wisely.
Asif had blamed Khan of speculating in Dubai real estate with the donations he had collected for his charity hospital for cancer patients.
He had said that Khan had transferred Rs4.50 billion outside the country from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital accounts.
The PTI chief said that the allegations have caused damage to the fund collection for “Pakistan’s biggest charity hospital” and that if this continues, thousands of patients will be affected.
Khan said that Asif knew that donations and funds are collected mainly in the month of Ramazan and that making such allegations during this time will affect the process. “Where will we get the money from if the donations are frozen? What will happen to the poor patients who are given treatment for free?”
“Back in 1997, they ran the same campaign against me and I had travelled abroad to collect funds. Only I know how I had saved the hospital in a state of declining funds.”
He said that the SKMH underwent a huge crisis due to the allegations leveled against Khan. “The Nation ran a news story on their front page that our hospital is going to stop operating due to lack of funds. The donation slumped massively.”
He said that if his hospital fails to provide free treatment to the patients, the PML-N leader will accuse him of not providing the treatment despite asking for funds.
The PTI chief said that every year Rs2 billion is spent on treating the patients admitted at the SKMH. “We have to actually vacate our hospital time-to-time in order to accommodate new patients, because the hospital has a huge turnover of patients.”
Khan said that the hospital management was planning on open two more hospitals – in Karachi and Peshawar – and alleging that I misuse the money will hamper that, too.
“My friends tell me why I am even trying to dispel Asif’s claims. I tell them I am only doing this because I am a public figure and being a politician I owe this to them.”
He said that PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi had also alleged that the officials working at the SKMH were receiving Rs200,000 as their salaries, a claim which Khan said was “also bogus”.
Khan further said that he had produced the tax statements of last 30 years to verify that all the money he had spent was not stolen from the accounts of SKMH.
The PTI chief said that Namal College is Pakistan’s first private sector institute in a rural area which is built on international standards. “A University of Bradford degree is given to the students who have no money to pay for their education.”
He said that if donations are stopped, then it will affect the institute as well.