Money came from outside but the allegation of illicit funding was wrong, PTI lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan tells ECP
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan, while giving arguments in PTI’s foreign funding case on Wednesday, has said that money came from outside but the allegation of illicit funding was wrong and that the money coming from America had been declared as foreign funding.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) heard the PTI foreign funding case earlier on Wednesday, where Anwar Mansoor Khan argued that funds could not be taken from foreign governments, multinational or local companies and that a company registered outside Pakistan could not be called a local company
He maintained that according to the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) laws, funding from multinational and local companies is prohibited.
“The Election Act states that it is prohibited to take funding from any foreign source but the ban on funding from local companies has been lifted,” Mansoor maintained.
Sindh member of the ECP Nisar Ahmed Durrani questioned if he was admitting to the party taking foreign funding, to which the lawyer said that no funding was received from any illicit source, money came from outside but the allegation of illicit funding is false.
He further stated that if the donors were foreigners, then petitioner Akbar Sher Babar should prove his allegation with “evidence”.
“We did not take any funding from any Indian citizen but if any Hindu citizen got dual citizenship, did he become a foreigner?” the lawyer asked.
He claimed that the money coming from the United States was declared as foreign funding and that all the money coming from abroad was disclosed. He stated that people with dual citizenship were also called Pakistani citizens.
“The scrutiny committee misinterpreted section 6 of PPO law. The PPO does not prohibit taking funds from any foreign source,” he said.
After hearing the arguments, the ECP adjourned the hearing till April 19.
Meanwhile, Akbar Sher Babar in conversation with media personnel outside the ECP said that the 11 accounts of PTI, which they admitted to having in writing but claimed that they are not associated with, were run by party leadership, including Asad Qaiser, Shah Ferman, Imran Ismail and others.
“They have written indictments for their leadership for opening illegal accounts on one hand, and on the other, they are taking no action against these individuals,” said Babar.
He maintained that the PTI had claimed that they found out about these accounts in 2018 through state bank records, however, the accounts were being operated since 2012 with the signatures of PTI leadership.
Babar said that he had proof of two such accounts and had evidence that Sardar Azhar Tariq Khan – the former primary finance secretary of PTI – was operating them on behalf of his party.
He alleged that the PTI finance board resolutions showed that the accounts were being contractually operated and that Babar had evidence to prove so.
“Therefore, we have proof that they lied on March 25 about their knowledge of the accounts and they have misled the ECP,” he stated.
He further claimed that four people from the secretariat were told to collect money in Pakistan and abroad and that these four secret accounts had millions of rupees which then came to their personnel accounts and were released through signed checks, which is “something that falls under money laundering”.
The central finance secretary for the party Siraj Ahmed in a report said that these accounts have money, Babar claimed.
“I ask for an investigation into these accounts through the Federal Investigation Agency,” he said, adding that the PTI leadership had committed a crime by using workers’ accounts to receive donations and then hiding them even though the evidence was present.