Imran Khan, party members may face brunt of ECP foreign funding ruling on benami accounts
The Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI's) foreign funding case has created a new problem for Imran Khan as well as other party stalwarts.
The Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI's) foreign funding case has created a new problem for Imran Khan as well as other party stalwarts. There can be potential implications on Benami accounts and the fate of PTI stalwarts who operated them and in whose name the accounts were opened but disowned by the party, reported The News International.
One of the Benami accounts was opened and operated by Mian Mehmood Ur Rashid. He was the PTI Lahore president at that time. The account title was 'PTI Lahore'. From this account, an amount of Rs 16.182 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 20.372 million was deposited. Another account from Lahore titled 'PTI Punjab' at Muslim Commercial Bank was being operated by Mian Mohammad Farooq, then party's secretary general of Punjab.
The authorisation and request letter with the names of signatories was signed by Imran Khan. From this account, Rs 14.097 million were withdrawn and Rs 15.149 million were deposited, reported The News International. Former Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser opened and operated an account in Habib Bank, Peshawar, together with Muhammad Ashfaq and Mohsin Wadud.
A sum of Rs 0.782 million was withdrawn and Rs 0.860 million was deposited. Qaiser operated yet another account titled 'PTI NWFP' in Bank Islami's Peshawar branch together with former governor Shah Farman and Imran Shehzad. An amount of Rs 2.11 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 2.127 million was deposited into it. Details of an account at Bank of Khyber, Peshawar, were not available as to who was operating it, reported The News International. Former governor Sindh Imran Ismail operated an account together with MNA Muhammad Najeeb Haroon and MPA Samar Ali Khan in Habib Bank's Karachi branch. An amount of Rs 39.471 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 40.224 million was deposited into the account titled 'PTI Sindh'.
The party's MPA from Sindh Seema Zia operated an account in Habib Bank Karachi together with Roshna. It was titled 'PTI Women Wing Sindh'. An amount of Rs 300 was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 1.077 million was deposited into it, reported The News International. Former deputy speaker of National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri held an account in Bank of Punjab's Quetta branch when he was PTI's provincial president. Syed Abdul Wahab and Dawood Khan were co-operators. An amount of Rs 5.350 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 5.556 million was deposited in the account.
An account in Bank Islami, Islamabad, was opened with the 'PTI Federal Capital' title. The account opening documents were not available; hence, the operator remained unknown. A sum of Rs 0.769 million was withdrawn and Rs 1.154 million was deposited into it, reported The News International. Another account in the Karachi branch of the same bank was being operated but the account opening record was not available as it was purportedly burnt during riots that occurred after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Two accounts in Habib Bank Islamabad were opened at the request of Imran Khan. The signatories were Sardar Azhar Tariq, Col. (R) Younas Ali Raza and Saifullah Khan Niazi. An amount of USD 51,750 was withdrawn from one of those accounts; whereas, an amount of Rs 84.14 million was withdrawn and an amount of Rs 86.89 million was deposited into the other account, reported The News International. The sword of disqualification hangs over Imran Khan and their party members for consecutive misdeclaration in the account statements submitted for five years before the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Out of 13 undeclared accounts, two were opened on the request of Imran Khan while 11 were being operated by other party leaders. But the PTI in a statement before the ECP disowned them. Consequently, the ECP graded them as disowned/benami/fake accounts and the investigation found out that the money was transferred from them into the declared accounts, reported The News International.
"As these accounts have now been disowned by PTI, therefore, all these accounts come under the category of illegitimate/fake accounts (benami accounts). Further examination indicates that the contention of the respondents is devoid of any force due to the reason that inter-bank transfers have been found to be made by PTI in their declared accounts from the accounts disowned and are termed as 'unknown by PTI,' reads a relevant excerpt from the verdict in foreign funding case. (ANI)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)