Unauthorised accounts

The emperor has no clothes

What Akbar S. Babar, founding member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), revealed on Thursday raises serious questions about the financial integrity of the PTI leadership which continues to use religion and morality to advance its political agenda while accusing its political opponents of indulging in corruption, calling them thieves and dacoits.

As Babar put it, on March 15 the PTI at long last submitted written replies to the ECP in response to queries raised by the Commission’s scrutiny committee, in which it declared as “unauthorized” 11 bank accounts that were opened and operated by key party leaders for a number of years. According to the reply, the “illegal” accounts received hefty amount of Rs 23.22 million from the PTI’s central accounts, adding that an additional Rs 57 million was deposited in them from local sources that were not accounted for with the party’s Central Accounts.

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According to the PTI, it initiated “an appropriate and required exercise” upon learning of the accounts, adding that it had been “unaware” of them until the SBP had disclosed their details. This reveals an unconscionable naivety on the part of the PTI leadership which has taken on with a messianic zeal the mission of naming, shaming and jailing opposition leaders it accuses of misappropriating public funds

The individuals involved in the unauthorized activity include National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman besides several others. In case these party leaders had opened and operated accounts worth millions of rupees for a number of years without the party leadership’s knowledge or permission, why were they not chargesheeted and punished by the PTI leadership instead of being rewarded with public offices? This could create a perception that the unauthorized accounts were being operated for some unmentionable purposes with the knowledge and connivance of the top party leadership. That the PTI opposed sharing the report with the party which has taken the foreign accounts case to the ECP, indicates it wanted to keep facts secret from the general public for fear of exposure.  The nature if these acoun ts, and what happened to any interest that may have accrued, is not known. The question of whether the donation came from a legal source or not is an entirely separate matter, though it too needs answers which are not forthcoming from the PTI.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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