Actor turned politician, Imran Khan might face legal complexities as a media report on Thursday quoted a report by Pakistan’s central bank as saying that Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s party has been operating 18 ‘undeclared’ bank accounts within the country.
According to a report submitted by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been operating 26 bank accounts in different parts of the country out of which only 8 have been declared before the commission, as reported by Dawn.
The remaining 18 bank accounts fall in the category of fake or illegal bank accounts as these have not been declared in PTI’s annual audit reports submitted to the ECP as required under the law, the report said.
It is a legal requirement for all party heads to attach a certification of authenticity and accuracy duly signed by PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, along with the audit report However, it is being feared that details of these illegal accounts and their money trails could put Khan and others, some senior office holders in Khan’s government, in legal jeopardy as they are principal and co-principal signatories of these accounts, the report said.
In July 2018, failing multiple attempts to acquire PTI’s bank statements and records, the ECP reportedly wrote to the SBP to avail the party’s bank statements. Following which the central bank wrote letters to the presidents of all scheduled banks, seeking PTI’s bank statements for the period 2009-13 to be submitted to the ECP by July 16.
Finally, on receiving all documents, the ECP revealed the fraudulence of fake or illegal PTI accounts in the presence of the party’s representatives at a meeting of the scrutiny committee last year, after which the PTI stopped cooperating with the ECP, which was clearly visible as none of the PTI representatives were reportedly present in the scheduled scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday, the report confirmed. The meeting was subsequently adjourned.
The PTI has been trying hard to keep the scrutiny committee’s proceedings as secret and had also filed an application to this effect in the ECP and also a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court. PTI’s founding member and the petitioner, in this case, Akbar S. Babar has termed the whole episode as the biggest funding fraud and said that it probably required a detailed forensic audit to know the exact extent and depth.