Imran Khan’s ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf suffered a crucial setback on Wednesday as the Pakistani electoral commission found it had grossly underreported funds received from foreign nationals, businesses and banks . The PTI is said to have under-reported 312 million PKR (Pakistani rupees) over a four-year period, particularly between 2009-10 and 2012-13.
In terms of periodization, the alleged irregularities predate 2018, when Imran Khan took power. Nonetheless, he was truly the leader of the party during the years of fiscal madness. The annual breakdown reveals that an amount over PKR 145 million was under-reported in the 2012-2013 fiscal year alone. The Islamabad government called the report “inaccurate”; he even demanded an investigation into the accounts of opposition parties, giving the conclusion a political advantage at a time when the prime minister is under pressure on domestic issues. Notably, the tax irregularity has not been denied.
According to data submitted to the Election Commission by the State Bank of Pakistan, PTI had up to 26 bank accounts. Between 2008 and 2013, the party disclosed funds to the electoral panel for a total amount of PKR 1.33 billion. This contrasts with the State Bank report which mentions the actual amount of PKR 1.64 billion. In addition, the party even failed to disclose the details of three banks in the documentation provided to the electoral commission.
According to the report, some 1,414 companies in Pakistan, 47 foreign companies and 119 “potential companies” had provided funds to Imran Khan’s party. He had also received $ 2.3 million in funds from the United States of America, but the investigation committee was unable to access U.S. bank accounts, according to the report. Contributors to this largesse include 4,755 Pakistanis, 41 “non-Pakistanis” and 230 foreign companies. PTI has also received funding from Dubai (petro-dollars), UK, Denmark, Japan, Canada and Australia.
However, the committee was unable to obtain details on any of these offshore transactions. There is an urgent need to clear the air although the report is unlikely to move the boat in Islamabad again. Much of what has been leaked is still rather unclear although Imran Khan responded fairly quickly, indicating that some other opposition parties are no less involved.
Indeed, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, called the review committee’s report “inaccurate”. He called for an investigation into the accounts of opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Pakistani People’s Party. The report was filed when Pakistan’s Election Commission resumed hearing a foreign funding case against the PTI on Tuesday after nine months.
The national security policy of the past week was Imran Khan’s attempt to solidify his government’s image. It covers all the main governance parameters, including the economy and foreign relations. The ruling party’s funds and funding demand an investigation.