ISLAMABAD: Senior anchorperson and political analyst Hamid Mir on Friday said that the evidence available to the Financial Times has rejected the PTI’s claims that it did not receive foreign funding.
Mir was speaking to Geo News after a FT report which stated that Imran Khan’s party was provided massive funds through Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi’s offshore company in 2013.
“PTI had claimed that the amount was collected from Pakistanis but the UK publication has rejected the claims of PTI, Imran Khan and Arif Naqvi. As per the record available to the [FT] reporter, PTI received foreign funding and ECP should now look into it.”
Mir said that FT journalist Simon Clarke, who was previously associated with WSJ, has been working on this subject for the last three-four years and written a whole book on Arif Naqvi titled “The Key Man”, published last year.
About the PTI’s reaction to the report, the anchorperson said that the party is now saying that Naqvi is being targeted because he is Muslim.
“It is not true. The US is investigating [Arif Naqvi’s] funding to Barack Obama’s administration as well,” Mir said.
Giving details on the foreign funding case against PTI, he added that Arif Naqvi sent an affidavit to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) earlier this year and admitted to the funding but claimed that it was collected from British Pakistanis. Mir said the Abraaj founder “cleverly didn’t sign it and put a date”.
“He might have not signed it because he probably knew that he is not providing the correct information,” the anchorperson said.
The story is based on email and bank account details of Wootton Cricket and PTI, the journalist said.
“One important thing to note here is that PTI and Naqvi informed the ECP that they received $1.12 million from the Wootton club but the source was not disclosed and it has now been revealed by the FT. The actual amount was 2.12 million dollars which also includes 1.03 million dollars of Abraaj Group which were provided by K-Electric and transferred to Wotton Cricket and ultimately landed in PTI’s accounts,” Mir said.
Naqvi, Mir added, is fighting a legal battle with the US over his extradition but the UK authorities are delaying the matter because the Abraaj founder may reveal information as he was also associated with Prince Charles’ charity.
According to the FT report, Naqvi also funded Pakistani politicians in 2016 including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif but the PML-N has denied it. The story, he said, has used the word alleged because the reporter does not have any evidence to support this.
Mir said that the FT journalist has all the records related to PTI and the ECP now has more details to probe further.
He agreed with PTI’s demand to decide the cases of all the parties together.