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PTI leader summoned by probe agency did not hold office in 2011-12: Pak ex-Minister Fawad Chaudhry

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Islamabad | August 8, 2022 3:26:17 AM IST
As former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's party continues to remain under tight scrutiny by country's probe agency, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said the party leaders who are summoned did not hold public office in 2011-12 -- the period in which the party purportedly received prohibited funding.

This comes as on Friday, the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) constituted a five-member team to supervise inquiry teams of the agency's respective zones probing into the prohibited funding case.

Four prominent PTI leaders -- Imran Ismail, Seema Zia, Mahmoodur Rasheed and Asad Qaiser were summoned by the agency. The probe comes after an ECP verdict that found the PTI had indeed received prohibited funding.

Questioning the summon by the probe agency, the former Minister in then Imran Khan government in a media conference in Islamabad said, "I do not understand in what capacity FIA is issuing notices to our leaders. These people were not public officeholders in 2011-12,"

"We are, however, cooperating with the FIA," he added.

He also asserted that the PTI would also launch an investigation into the cases registered against its workers and leaders in Punjab after the 'Azadi March'.

The probe agency has identified four employees of the PTI secretariat, whose personal and salary accounts were used for receiving foreign funding.

In the statements, the PTI employees said that they used to give the money received in their accounts to Imran Khan party's finance manager, as per the report.

They said they would give signed blank cheques to the finance manager. According to the publication, the FIA came to know during the investigation that besides other accounts, foreign funding was also received in employees' salary accounts.

This investigation came a few days after the three-member Election Commission of Pakistan bench in a unanimous verdict ruled that the PTI received prohibited funding in the case pending since 2014, Geo News reported.

Akbar S Babar, the man who blew the lid off the scam involving the inflow of dubious foreign funds into Imran Khan's political outfit Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) formally approached the FIA to initiate a probe against the PTI on Wednesday. On August 4, the Pakistan government decided to file a disqualification reference against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after the verdict of the prohibited funding case and the federal cabinet accepted the recommendation.

In its verdict, the ECP observed the 'unknown accounts' and said that hiding accounts are a "violation of the Constitution".

The Commission found that the donations were taken from 34 countries in fundraising. These included America, Australia, and the UAE, Geo News reported. The ECP also said that the PTI had taken funds from an American businessman. (ANI)

 
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