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Arif Naqvi donated $2 million to PTI before 2013 general elections: Report

Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi funded PTI. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: A foreign company owned by businessman and Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi donated over two million dollars to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) before the 2013 general elections, it has been revealed. 

According to media reports, this was revealed in the scrutiny committee report of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The donation given by the company – Wootton Cricket Limited – is probably the biggest ever by a foreign entity revealed by the scrutiny committee in the foreign funding case. 

As per the Political Parties Order, 2002, a party cannot receive funding either from foreigners or from companies and violators can face dissolution.

Section 6(3) of the order states that any contribution made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign government, multinational or domestically-incorporated public or private company, firm, trade or professional association will be prohibited and the parties may accept contributions and donations only from individuals. Section 6(4) states that any contribution or donation which is prohibited under this order shall be confiscated in favor of the state.

This could also lead to the dissolution of a party if it is proved to have received funds from foreigners. The report also reveals that many suspected foreign nationals have also funded the PTI.

Wootton Cricket Limited was owned by Arif Naqvi in 2013 and its present status cannot be ascertained. It has been reported that an offshore company with the same name was registered in the Cayman Islands.

The media report revealed that Naqvi, who was regular donor of the PTI, would have held an important position in the government had he not been arrested in the United Kingdom in connection under fraud charges.

The report states that British author Brian Brivati noted that Imran Khan was planning to appoint Naqvi as finance minister by the time he was arrested.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said that all record of Wootton Cricket Ltd was legal. He said that Arif is a Pakistani national who raised this fund and sent it through his Wootton bank account and the process was legal. He said that Arif keenly participated in PTI fundraising in 2012.

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