After the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) guilty of receiving “prohibited funds”, a donor Beenish Faridi expressed concerns over the “outrageous” verdict on Wednesday.
Faridi who claims to have donated funds to the party ahead of the 2013 elections into PTI’s online official account, in a video message said she saw her name in a list circulating on social media, where it was included in the list of foreign donors.
Beenish Faridi who is a Pakistani Dual National with a valid Pakistani passport & NICOP, has been declared as a "non pakistani" foreign national donor by @ECP_Pakistan.
Her video message clarified it, exposing ECP! #صادق_و_امین_عمران_خان pic.twitter.com/SWzOufM0kO
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 2, 2022
Contrary to the claim, the PTI supporter said she was a “patriotic Pakistani” living in the UK for the past 20 to 22 years.
“I am Pakistani, I was born in Pakistan [….] we feel Pakistan’s pain, we love Pakistan,” she said.
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Urging the ECP not to “declare patriotic Pakistanis as foreigners”, Faridi added that “we possess the right to legal action against the ECP.”
All accounts ‘legal’
Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Fawad Chaudhry offered an explanation for the 16 party accounts that the electoral watchdog’s verdict yesterday termed as illegal and undeclared.
In a press conference, Chaudhry said that “subsidiary accounts were opened under party leaders’ names” ahead of elections and were therefore “declared”.
“The accounting formula –that accountants follow, is that they don’t do double counting,” he said, claiming that the 16 accounts were, in fact, subsidiary and had they been included in then, “it would double the count”.
تحریک انصاف کا تمام پیسہ مین اکاؤنٹ میں شامل ہے، منی لانڈرنگ کرنے والے اسامہ بن لادن سے پیسے لیتے ہیں امریکہ سے پیسے لیتے ہیں اور ایون فیلڈ میں اپارٹمنٹس بناتے ہیں نہ کہ شوکت خانم اور نمل یونیورسٹی۔ @fawadchaudhry
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 3, 2022
“The amount that comes into the main account is declared,” he explained, “accountants don’t count the amount in subsidiary accounts”.
On Tuesday, the ECP had announced its ruling in the long-awaited, cliffhanger case of the PTI's prohibited funding and ruled that the party did indeed receive illegal funding while issuing a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated.
A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja had announced the verdict in a case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, which had been pending since November 14, 2014.
In its written order, the ECP had said the political party received millions of dollars in illegal funds from foreign countries, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and Australia.
"The office is also directed to initiate any other action under the law, in light of this order of the Commission," said the 68-page judgement – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
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The electoral watchdog also declared that 13 'unknown' accounts have been found linked to the party and the submissions by PTI chief Imran Khan were 'inaccurate and wrong'.
After the verdict, the PTI had appeared to be putting a positive spin on the conclusion of the eight-year-old case, insisting the verdict has actually proved its own stance that it was not being doled out foreign funds.
However, the petitioner and founding member of the PTI, Akbar Babar, had declared the PTI “guilty as accused”.
The National Assembly had echoed with vehement attacks on the PTI after the ECP's much-awaited ruling in the prohibited funding case as PML-N leaders called for legal action to give the former ruling party a taste of its own medicine, while they sang the blues about the "injustice" meted out to them at the hands of the judiciary over "immaterial things".
Furthermore, the federal cabinet had started contemplating three options, including imposing a ban on the Imran Khan-led party.