Mon, 03 Oct 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 7 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday termed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) back-to-back public gatherings across the country as a "political stunt" and said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan was trying to divert attention from his theft, while referring to PTI's foreign funding case.

In a statement, Sanaullah said that PTI is allowed to stage a public gathering at the Parade Ground, adding that it will be a political stunt.

He also warned about the ongoing inquiry into the PTI's foreign funding case, saying, "Whoever will not cooperate with the FIA relating to an inquiry into the prohibited funding case [against PTI] will be arrested."Reacting to Imran's announcement of his candidature on all the nine Assembly seats that fell vacant after the country's National Assembly accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs, Interior Minister Sanaullah lashed out at him, claiming that Khan will suffer defeat during the upcoming bypolls in all the nine Assembly constituencies.

Notably, PTI is preparing to stage a 'grand power show' at Islamabad's Parade Ground to decide its strategy with party supporters on the eve of Pakistan's Independence Day.

On Saturday, the PTI announced to organise a public gathering in Islamabad on August 14.

ARY News reported that the sources aware of the decisions taken by the party during a meeting headed by Imran Khan on Saturday informed that all party organizations have been directed to make arrangements for holding Independence Day gatherings.

Meanwhile, a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revealed the schedule for the by-polls on the nine Assembly seats, PTI chief Imran Khan on Saturday announced his candidature on all nine seats.

The nine seats are among the 11 vacated after the acceptance of the resignations of PTI MNAs by the National Assembly speaker, and their de-notification, last week, following the removal of the party chief Imran Khan from the office of the Prime minister earlier this year.

The poll body on Friday announced the schedule for the constituencies of NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib, as well as NA-237 Malir, NA-239 Korangi Karachi and NA-246 Karachi South.

Reacting to Sanaullah's statement, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry advised the interior minister to be careful while giving remarks about the party leadership.

"Your value is not more than an SHO of the Kohsar police station," the PTI leader told the interior minister as the ruling PML-N has no government in any province of the country.

Fawad Chaudhry also warned the interior minister of the consequences of his statements.

It is pertinent to mention here that the announcement to hold a public gathering first came from PTI's official Twitter account on Saturday, and was later confirmed by the party's Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry while speaking at a press conference, the Dawn reported.

Imran Khan said, "Elections would be held this year, government parties want to single him out....Would fight against the rulers at every platform.""The government alliance's plans to disqualify him would never be completed," he said, adding that appointing Sikandar Sultan Raja as the ECP chief was a major mistake.

Speaking of the PTI's foreign funding case, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has summoned 10 other leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf including former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Mian Mahmood-ur-Rashid, former MPA Seema Zia and others to address questions during the probe.

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

The agency said funds were received in the bank accounts of Muhammad Arshad, Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Rafique, and Nauman Afzal. In the statements, the PTI employees said that they used to give the money received in their accounts to PTI'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.

FIA earlier constituted a six-member team to probe the case.

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.

Babar told the FIA that the PTI's financial board in 2011 illegally authorised four employees of the party's central secretariat to collect donations in their personal accounts from within Pakistan and abroad.

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

Moreover, it found that PTI Chairman Imran Khan submitted a false Nomination Form I.

The ECP decided to issue a show-cause notice to the PTI to explain why the commission should not seize the funds it received. (ANI)

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