ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday fired a broadside on Imran Khan for trying to sabotage democracy, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and national economy through the foreign funding the party received over the past decade.
“A conspiracy project, launched by Imran Khan, was executed in the country through the foreign funds received by his party during different periods including 2008-13,2013-18 and 2018-22,” she said while addressing a news conference along with Coordinator to the Prime Minister for Economy and Energy Bilal Azhar Kayani.
She said, Imran Khan tried to weaken the parliamentary system and democracy in 2013 under the project which came into effect in 2008.
He incited his workers to attack the Supreme Court’s building, launched a civil obedience campaign, and made attempts to halt the CPEC by bringing political stability in the country.
“These were the milestones, delivery points and commitments which Imran Khan made to his funders in exchange of the foreign funding,” she said, adding the followers of the PTI’s chief would have to ask from him where this funding was spent.
She said Imran Khan asserted that he made a blunder by approving the appointment of Sikander Sultan Raja as the chief election commissioner, but in reality, the major mistake was committed when Nawaz Sharif was ousted from his office for not taking salary from his son.
Marriyum said it was unfair to compare Imran Khan with Nawaz Sharif who, as prime minister, eliminated terrorism, ensured 6 per cent economic growth, created massive employment opportunities for youth and above all, improved the country’s standing at the International level.
She said the nation needed to look into the reasons behind the “Imran project” under which Kashmir was sold, CPEC projects stopped and the country registered negative economic growth.
Imran Khan, during his government, rendered the youth jobless, created anarchy and political instability and imprisoned the media persons, she added.
The people had to understand that Imran Khan was responsible for the current crises which were created to fulfill the commitments made with the foreign fosters.
She said the so-called truthful and honest Imran Khan had miserably exposed before the nation after the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the PTI’s prohibited funding case.
“The party of a foreign agent has been declared a “foreign-aided party” under the Political Party Ordinance, 2002 and the Election Act, 2017,” she remarked.
The minister said Imran Khan was trying to mislead the nation by consistently telling lies over a case that was investigated by the ECP for eight years.
The PTI sought 51 adjournments, changed nine lawyers, and filed 11 petitions with the court seeking delay in the announcement of the decision and an order to refrain the ECP from making foreign funding details public.
She said the PTI chairman had “knowingly” and “willfully” received prohibited funding from a number of foreign firms and individuals, which he acknowledged by himself by submitting false affidavits in the ECP five times.
Marriyum said Imran Khan blamed others for corruption, but when his robbery came to the fore, he tried to give it an angle of technicality. He became naive about the funding of his party and termed it a technical matter.
“It is not a technical matter, rather an open and shut case of foreign funding as no party can receive any aid from a foreign government, individual or firm under the political parties Order 2002,” she observed, adding the PTI concealed the bank accounts in which funding poured in from abroad.
“This is a matter of misappropriation as Imran Khan used donations for political and personal purposes,” she said, noting that the PTI opened undeclared bank accounts in the name of the party’s secretariat employees.
The people, she said, needed to understand that it was not a matter between the PTI and PML-N, but rather between the former, the State Bank of Pakistan and ECP. The case against the foreign funding received by the PTI was filed by its own member Akbar S Babar and the PML-N had nothing to do with the matter, she added.
The minister said Imran Khan remained a major hindrance in the foreign funding case’s proceeding as described by the ECP in its decision as “the worst abuse of law had happened.”
She said Imran Khan, who received funds and charity from overseas Pakistanis, for flood relief activities and other natural disasters, spent them for personal and political purposes.
Marriyum said the senior leadership of PTI including Imran Khan were signatories of the funds received by his party in the undeclared bank accounts. “The money trail of the PTI’s foreign funding and details of the undeclared bank accounts have come to the fore. Imran Khan has been declared a criminal and the veil of Sadiq and Ameen is removed from his face,” she added.
“Till the day, Imran Khan has not denied that he did not receive money from Romita Shetty (an Indian businesswoman) and Wootton Cricket Limited,” she said, slamming the PTI for posting fake interviews of overseas Pakistanis, who claimed themselves as its funders, on its social media accounts.
She dared Imran Khan to post the interview of Arif Naqvi and other foreign nationals and firms’ members who sent dollars, pounds and other currencies as fund to his party.
Arif Naqvi was presented as a front person to conceal real identities of other foreign sources, she added.
The PTI received funds Wootton Cricket Limited, Bristol engineering services and Eplanet Trustees from 2013, she said, adding the companies set up in the United States included 34 foreign nationals.
She said the PTI claimed to open two LLCs abroad including LLC 5975 and LLC 6160. 13 foreign nationals and 231 firms had contributed funds in LLC 5975, while 31 foreigners and 120 companies in the other one. There were other companies which were opened by the PTI to collect foreign funding.
“There was no technicality if the donations were used for political purposes,” she added.
She said the PTI had disclosed the names of the front persons who collected the funds from the different countries. Their videos were on the record, she added.
Imran Khan committed a crime which was proved by the State Bank of Pakistan and ECP, the minister remarked.
Imran Khan never informed the ECP that he received funds in the accounts of his party secretariat’s employees including Muhammad Arshad, Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Rafiq and Numan Afzal. The FIA investigation was underway which was being conducted in a transparent way.
She said the funds were also received in the personal accounts of other PTI leaders including Asad Qaiser,Imran Ismael, Shah Farman, Saif ullah Niazi and others. In this case, Imran Khan and finance boards’ members were co-signatory of these accounts.
The minister also mentioned the names of some foreign funders including Mukesh Kanda, Charn Jeet Singh, Charles, Michael and others. Ironically, his party continued to receive the funding, but Imran Khan did not know.
She said Imran Khan, being prime minister, could not prove corruption of a single dime against the PML-N leaders during his four-year rule.
The minister said the PTI chief also made money by committing massive corruption in Malam Jabba project, wheat and sugar exports, BRT Peshawar and others.
She said Imran Khan launched the regime change narrative to cover up his corruption through which the Bani Gala was transformed in “Money Gala.
“Enough is enough, now this drama must come to an end as a foreign agent has been nabbed and the PTI has been declared a foreign-aided party,” she said.
She said it was just a teaser of Imran Khan’s foreign funding and the complete film was yet to release as the ECP had given the decision on Akbar S Babar’s petition who filed a complaint against the funding received by the party till 2013.
Meanwhile, the minister appreciated the media for consistently sharing the flood situation with the government which helped carry out the rescue and relief activities in an effective way.
She said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was personally monitoring the relief activities in flood-hit areas. The prime minister had also visited Balochistan and other areas and ordered round-the-clock monitoring of rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations.
She said the PM had ordered the NDMA and other relevant departments to start relief and rehabilitation immediately as the finance division had been directed to transfer Rs 5 billion to the authority.
The PM relief fund had been set up and people were requested to contribute for providing assistance to the flood affected people, she added.
She condemned the social media campaign against the Pakistan Army by the PTI trolls in the strongest terms. “This reflects the mindset of Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi.”