Opposition parties say
ECP report unveils
Imran’s corrupt face

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KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that after the scrutiny report by the Election Commission, Imran Khan’s ugly face tainted with corruption has been exposed.        

PPP’s Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

In a statement, the Chairman PPP stated that Imran Khan had taken an oath of telling the truth, but instead, he hid PTI’s bank accounts from the ECP.

He said that the selected Prime Minister who has embezzled crores of rupees, ridicules others for corruption. But it is now clear that Imran Khan was imposed on the country only under the guise of a so-called anti-corruption campaign. He made false promises and looted the country instead.

Today, the devastated economy of the country is a witness to the PTI government ruthlessly plundering the national treasury, said Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

He further stated that Imran Khan was forcibly portrayed as honest and then imposed on Pakistan. But the time has come for him to give an account of his actions.

Shahbaz Sharif terms ‘damning indictment’

Reacting to the scrutiny committee’s report, PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif termed it a “damning indictment” of the prime minister.

PML-N head Shahbaz Sharif

“PTI has been running away from foreign funding case for last 7 years and now we know why. The facade of ‘Sadiq aur Ameen’ (honest and righteous) has been shredded into pieces,” he tweeted.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz also blasted the premier, saying “when the person who accused others of stealing was searched himself, his hair was found to be steeped in thievery.”

She alleged that PM Imran “accrued wealth from others in the name of funds, used it for luxury and then lied again and again to hide [his] stealing”.

“Has there been a corrupt, false and conspiratorial ruler like Imran Khan in the history of Pakistan?” she asked.

Fawad Choudhary defend PTI

Following Tuesday’s proceedings at ECP, government ministers came out in support of the ruling party. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry termed the report “inaccurate” and called for a public comparison of all the parties’ foreign funding so people knew where they all stood.

He claimed that there were “two relevant transactions of Rs150m and Rs160m, which had been duplicated and therefore counted twice by the committee”. Referring to the matter of the underreported funds, Fawad said a transaction of Rs160m was counted twice because the party had received money in its central account and transferred it to another.

“In the same way, Rs150m transferred from the centre to the provinces from a PTI subsidiary was also counted twice.” He said these facts would be laid before the ECP during arguments in the case.

The minister said the report showed that the PTI had 26 accounts out of which eight were inactive.

“Out of the remaining 18 accounts, eight are functional and have transactions and also show funds coming in,” he added.

He said that 10 of the accounts in question did not actually belong to the PTI, while six were subsidiary accounts, while the party has distanced itself from the remaining four.

The minister claimed that it was now evident that there was “no question of foreign funding”, adding that Mr Khan had always given a record of every single penny and his party had done the same.

The minister called on the election commission to also conduct a scrutiny of the accounts of the two other major political parties — the PPP and the PML-N. “It is important to have a comparison with the accounts of Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N as well as the PPP,” he added.

“People give $10, $25, $55 or $100,” he said, adding that people trusted Imran Khan ever since he had campaigned for and built the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.

Farurukh Habib

State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib also said that scrutiny committees formed in PPP and PML-N cases were identical to the body constituted to audit the bank accounts of the ruling party.

Flanked by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and PTI leader Aamir Mehmood Kiani, he said the reports of the scrutiny committees for the bank accounts of the PPP and PMLN had been completed and they should also be ordered to submit these reports before the national election watchdog at the earliest.

The state minister was of the view that cases of the PTI, PML-N and PPP were of a similar nature, adding that the scrutiny committees were formed in light of the Supreme Court’s decision which said that all parties’ bank accounts would be scrutinised in accordance with the law and without discrimination.

“We have no objection if the ECP hears all three parties’ cases in open court as PTI fully believes in transparency,” he added.