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Fawad Chaudhry rubbishes allegations of PTI receiving foreign funding

Cabinet approves holding LG elections in Islamabad through EVMs. (Source: Radio Pak)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday rubbished allegations of the PTI receiving foreign funding and demanded scrutiny of the accounts of the PML-N, PPP and all other political parties.

The minister’s comments came after a scrutiny committee submitted a report to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the party’s funds. However, the report has not been made public yet.

Meanwhile, a private media outlet reported that the ruling party hid funds worth millions of rupees from the commission. According to the outlet, the scrutiny committee report stated that the PTI provided “false information” regarding the party’s funding to the ECP, adding that the party had received Rs1.64 billion in funding and did not disclose funds worth more than Rs310 million to the ECP.

Addressing a post-Cabinet press conference alongside Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib today, the information minister addressed media reports about the unexplained Rs310million in the accounts.

He said there were two relevant transactions of Rs150m and Rs160m which had been duplicated and therefore counted twice by the committee. Chaudhry said that the information taken from the State Bank of Pakistan for the report was from before the 2018 general elections.

“The report is from before we came into power and from the tenure of the PML-N government,” he added.  Highlighting the details of the report, the minister said it showed that the PTI had 26 accounts out of which eight were non-active.

“Out of the remaining 18 accounts, eight are functional which have transactions and also show funds coming in.” He said 10 of the accounts in question did not actually belong to the PTI. “Six of the accounts are subsidiary accounts and the party has distanced itself from the remaining four.”

The minister claimed that it was now evident that there was “no question of foreign funding”, adding that PM Imran had always given a record of each and every single penny and the PTI had done the same.

The minister called on the election commission to also conduct a scrutiny of the accounts of the two other major political parties — the PPP and the PML-N. “It is important to have a comparison on the accounts of Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N as well as the PPP.”

Cabinet meeting

Briefing media about the decisions taken by the federal cabinet, Chaudhry said the Federal Cabinet has approved provision Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold local government elections in the Islamabad through EVMs.

Fawad said that the ECP had written a letter to the Ministry of Science and Technology for the provision of EVMs and the federal cabinet directed the ministry to acquire the same as per ECP’s demand.

The Minister said the cabinet was briefed that Omicron cases are rising in Pakistan and keeping this in view it was stressed that precautionary measures should be followed to avoid spread of this variant of Coronavirus.

Talking about the Health Card programme, he said this initiative was being launched gradually in Punjab, while the entire population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has already been provided this facility.  He said all members of a family registered in NADRA record can get treatment up to one million rupees from all government and designated private hospitals.

He said the cabinet also approved tabling of Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 in the National Assembly. He said it approved an agreement between China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority and Chinese Ministry of Environment to provide 3,000 solar power generations to the people of Gwadar, who are facing the problem of electricity.

 

 

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