Pakistan election company guidelines Imran Khan’s social gathering acquired unlawful funds

Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan’s election fee dominated on Tuesday that former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political social gathering acquired hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in unlawful funds from overseas international locations, together with the US, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and Australia.

The choice might result in a ban on Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) social gathering, which rose to prominence on an anti-corruption drive.

Khan, who analysts say had fallen out with army powers over the appointment of a spy chief within the run as much as his ouster earlier this yr, was not instantly obtainable for remark. A spokesman for the PTI social gathering denied any wrongdoing.

The fee’s ruling is a significant setback for the previous cricket star who has been main a marketing campaign in opposition to the brand new authorities.

The case, filed in 2014 by Akbar S. Khan, a PTI founding member, accused the social gathering of receiving unlawful funds from overseas.

“The commission is satisfied that the contributions and donations have been received by the respondent party from prohibited sources,” the ruling, which has been seen by Reuters, mentioned.

The fee mentioned the social gathering additionally hid 13 accounts, including that the declaration submitted to the fee concerning the social gathering funds by Khan as its chairman from 2008 to 2013 have been “found to be grossly inaccurate.”

It mentioned the PTI acquired funds from totally different folks and corporations overseas, together with enterprise tycoon Arif Naqvi, proprietor of a Dubai-based fairness group, who’s amongst a number of folks charged by U.S. prosecutors with being a part of a world scheme to defraud buyers, together with the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis.

Naqvi has denied the fees.

The fee mentioned the social gathering was “willing recipient of prohibited money” amounting to $2.1 million from Naqvi’s Wootton Cricket Restricted, which is registered within the Cayman Islands.

It additionally recognized a number of different overseas accounts in the US, Britain, Australia, UAE, Canada, Switzerland and different international locations, which made transaction to Khan’s social gathering accounts.

The election fee ruling has been referred to the Pakistan authorities, which might search a Supreme Courtroom ban on Khan and his social gathering from politics, in keeping with authorized consultants. The courtroom ordered the fee in 2017 to scrutinise the social gathering’s accounts.

“We will challenge this ruling,” Khan’s social gathering spokesman, Fawad Chaudhry, advised reporters. He mentioned the funds have been acquired from Pakistani nationals dwelling abroad, which isn’t unlawful.

Khan was prime minister from 2018 till April this yr when he was pressured to step down after dropping a confidence vote which he alleged was the results of a US conspiracy. The US denied that.

Since then, he has been rallying his supporters to press his demand for a brand new election. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected that demand.

“It is a clear case of fraud,” mentioned Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, chief of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League social gathering.