The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) will challenge in court the ‘false accusations’ levelled by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader against the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH).
Senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif had alleged that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had lost a huge sum of money donated to the SKMH in “real-estate gambles”.
“I would request the chief justice to take up the matter at the earliest and save the country’s largest charity organisation,” Imran told a news conference on Tuesday.
Imran said his lawyer Advocate Salman Akram Raja would file a petition in the apex court – but did not say when it would be filed.
Responding to the charges regarding the endowment fund losses, the PTI chief said the $3 million mentioned by Asif were stated in the hospital’s balance sheet.
“The investment was made by the financial committee of the hospital,” he said. And since he was not a member of the committee, he was not consulted.
Despite this, Imran vowed he would bear the loss and return the money to the hospital in case of any untoward situation.
“I will sell my house located at Zaman Park in Lahore in case the hospital loses the money,” Imran said, adding that the only cancer hospital in the country belonged to the entire nation.
The PTI chief said every year Rs2 billion is spent on the treatment of poor patients at the SKMH, while requesting the chief justice to decide the matter as early as possible in order to save the hospital.
“Since elections are nearing, they (the PML-N) are going to target the SKMH and Sita White in their campaigns to malign me. The case should be dealt by the Supreme Court so that the situation is cleared to the masses,” he added.
Addressing the chief justice, he asserted that he (Imran) was not building ‘factories’ with donations, and was, instead, building institutions for the people of Pakistan.
The PTI chief said the PML-N’s allegations have severely dented fund-raising efforts of “Pakistan’s biggest charity hospital”.
“It has been done purposefully during the holy month of Ramazan, when we collect funds,” he added.
Imran said the hospital management was planning on opening two more hospitals, in Karachi and Peshawar – efforts for which could also be hampered because of the allegations.
“My friends tell me why I am even trying to dispel Asif’s allegations. I tell them that I am only doing this because I am a public figure and being a politician I owe this,” Imran said.
The PTI chief also said he had produced his tax statements of the last 30 years to verify that all the money he had spent was not stolen from the accounts of the SKMH.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.