The opposition on Wednesday lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf over the ‘damning’ evidence in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Scrutiny Committee report in which it said the ruling party provided false information about its funding.
The government has responded by saying its source of party funding is part of an ‘elaborate system.’
Top leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz took to Twitter to criticise the ruling party while leaders of both the parties also held separate pressers in the federal capital to censure them.
In his tweet on Wednesday PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the ECP report was a “damning incitement” not only of the party’s “corruption but exposes their hypocrisy.” Simultaneously tax records reveal PM Imran’s income increased more than 50 times since gaining power, he alleged.
The scrutiny committee was formed to probe the foreign funding case against the PTI. The party did not disclose funding worth more than Rs310 million to the ECP, read the report, adding that according to the SBP’s bank statement the party had received Rs1.64 billion in funding.
In its defense, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry explained on Tuesday that the PTI has an elaborate system of funding and accounting. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan “welcomed” the development on Wednesday and was looking forward to similar ECP’s scrutiny on funding of other major political parties – including PPP and PML-N.
The PPP on Wednesday also issued the co-chairperson's statement wherein he alleged the premier hid PTI’s bank accounts from the body despite taking an oath of telling truth. “It is now clear that [PM] Imran was imposed on the country only under the guise of a so-called anti-corruption campaign,” he said and alleged that the premier was forcibly portrayed as an honest and then imposed on Pakistan.
Similarly, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif alleged that the report revealed the reason for PTI’s reluctance to allow the details to come to light. “The facade of ‘Sadiq aur Ameen’ has been shredded into pieces,” he said.
In a press conference in Islamabad, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shared the details of the ECP’s report and alleged that the ruling party “deliberately” tried to force the ECP to release the findings.
“The PTI did not present and record or details of findings to the ECP. It’s the electoral body that by found by consulting State Bank of Pakistan,” he said, alleging that the ruling party tried different tactics to not present proof of their funding to the commission.
“The ECP report tells only provides the details of the source of funding of the five years,” he said, “I would again say that no document was presented by the PTI before ECP.”
Meanwhile, PPP leader Saleem Mandviwalla advised the PTI to “put its house in order” first than criticise others.
“You continue to blame others rather than correcting your own actions,” he told reporters in Islamabad.
The PTI should accept its mistakes and find a solution to the issues, he said and challenged the party to appear before the ECP and present funding details.
“Blame game won’t resolve your issues,” Mandviwala said.