Pakistan’s Election Commission accuses Imran Khan’s party of illegal donations

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has received millions of dollars in illegal funds from foreign individuals and groups, Pakistan’s Election Commission said on Tuesday. a case against his party leadership accusing him of financial misconduct.

Pakistan’s Election Commission found that Khan’s party was hiding 16 bank accounts and receiving donations from foreigners or foreign groups based in Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands. Pakistani law prohibits political parties from accepting funds and donations from foreign individuals and companies.

The commission also said the financial details provided by Khan “turned out to be highly inaccurate.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who came to power in April after Khan’s ouster, said the committee’s decision showed “once again that Khan is a complete liar”.

“Our nation should consider the implications of its foreign-funded policy,” Sharif said in a tweet on Tuesday. The allegations were denied by Khan’s party.

Fawad Chaudhry, leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leaves the office of Pakistan’s Election Commission in Islamabad on August 2, 2022. (Aamir QURESHI/AFP)

In response to the move, top PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said his party received funds from “Pakistanis Abroad”, not foreign nationals.

“Pakistanis overseas are the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, and we will continue to depend on them for funding,” Chaudhry told reporters.

Khan, a former cricket star, came to power in 2018 because voters were fed up with the dynastic political system of the country’s two main parties. Khan pledged to root out the corruption and cronyism that had entrenched the country for decades.

But in April he was ousted in a vote of no confidence – in part because of his failure to improve the country’s dire economic situation, including crippling debt, dwindling foreign exchange reserves and soaring inflation. Khan is also said to be at odds with the country’s powerful military.

Khan has since held a series of rallies, saying he was ousted from office by a “foreign plot” and due to mounting pressure on the coalition of former opposition parties now in power. [ab/uh]

Chad Sutton

"Typical zombieaholic. General twitter fanatic. Food fanatic. Gamer. Unapologetic analyst."

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