ISLAMABAD, Jan 4 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Monday said the opposition parties instead of holding a sit-in in front of the ECP should better submit documentary proofs of their foreign funding in order to avoid cancellation of their registration.
The Pakistan Muslim-League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) did not heed to repeated directives of the scrutiny committee of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit documentary proofs in the foreign funding cases filed by the PTI, which might result in forfeiture of the funds received from abroad, besides cancellation of their election symbols, he added.
Flanked by Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib, he told the media said the leadership of the three parties should answer to the questions asked by the ECP regarding their foreign funds instead of hurling threats of sit-ins.
Both the PPP and the PML-N were trapped as they had no documents to prove their case, and that was why they were using pressure tactics and wanted to trap the PTI, he remarked.
Shibli Faraz said unfortunately, the country’s political culture had changed altogether in the 1980s’. The then governments had totally destroyed the country’s moral facade, consequently the people (at the helm of affairs) no more differentiated between the modes of earnings – right or wrong (Halal or Haram) and they did not consider corruption as a crime.
The successive governments of PML-N and PPP with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman hands in glove, he said, had played the key role in spreading such culture.They had changed politics into a business and in blatant disregard for moral values their office-bearers right from prime minister to ministers involved in corrupt practices.
The minister said the political parties needed funds for carrying out routine activities. Prior to the entry of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into politics, all the political parties, including the PPP and the PML-N, used to get donations from various criminals and mafias, and paid them back in kind of favours and protecting their interests after assuming power. Later, their leaders also used various accounts for money laundering and whitening their black money, he added.
Shibli Faraz said the PTI was not involved in receiving funding from prohibited entities, including foreign governments or multi-national companies. There should be a difference between prohibited funding and foreign funding.
The funds received from multinationals and foreign nationals fell under prohibited funding, he added.
He said former MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi had filed a case against Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2016 on account of alleged foreign funding to the PTI.
The Supreme Court, however, had declared Imran Khan as an upright and righteous person, and directed the ECP to scrutinize the foreign funding issue, he added.
The minister said the opposition seemed to have no idea about the difference between foreign funding and prohibited funding. The PTI instead of accepting funds from mafias, had sought cooperation of workers and well-wishers by receiving small donations to avoid paying back to the sponsors or the donors.
The PTI had already deposited certified details of its accounts in the ECP, he added.
The minister expressed his heartfelt condolences over the massacre of 11 innocent citizens in Mach, Balochistan the other day and sympathized with their bereaved families.
Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary for Railways Farrukh Habib said the ECP’s scrutiny committee, while auditing the accounts of PML-N and PPP, had issued three different orders asking them to submit details of their accounts, but none of them was ready to comply with the Commission’s directions.
He said the PML-N was registered as a private limited company in the United Kingdom and the United States. It was a question mark as to how a political party was registered as a private limited company in foreign countries, he added.
Similarly, he said, the PPP’s principal agent in the US was Asif Ali Zardari in US, who had been receiving funding from foreign companies there.
He said the ECP had been asking the PPP to submit its foreign accounts’ record, but it had not provided any documents in that regard.
He said Nawaz Sharif first donated Rs 100 million to the PML-N and later Rs 60 million of the amount got transferred to his personal account. The PML-N was also not providing detail of its expenditure of Rs 700 million, which it had spent on its media campaigns.
The PPP, he said, had failed to satisfy its own auditors about the financial issues of the party.
The minister said the Supreme Court had directed the ECP to scrutinize all the financial issues of political parties. According to the ECP, the PML-N had not submitted any record to it.
Farrukh Habib asked the opposition parties to bring evidences of foreign funding when they came for a sit-in in front of the ECP. The PML-N and the PPP had taken financial assistance from the big donors, he added.