Home Latest News FIA Constitutes 5-Member Team to Probe PTI’s Prohibited Funding

FIA Constitutes 5-Member Team to Probe PTI’s Prohibited Funding

Monitoring team will supervise inquiries across Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday formally launched a nationwide inquiry into the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s utilization of “prohibited” funds in light of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s ruling that the party secured illegal donations.

A five-member monitoring team, headed by Muhammad Athar Waheed, has been constituted to supervise inquiries across Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta. It said that the inquiry had been launched as the result of a letter written by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar, who had requested a probe against the PTI for receiving funds through accounts opened in the name of subordinate employees.

In his letter, Babar said the PTI’s financial board in 2011 had illegally authorized four subordinate employees—Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Nauman Afzal, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad Rafiq—of the party’s central secretariat to collect donations in their personal accounts from within Pakistan and abroad. He said Rs. 11.104 million had been deposited in their accounts, which was beyond their known sources of income.

The FIA’s probe also covers the utilization of funds in 13 undeclared accounts, with the agency issuing notices to the account holders. In their preliminary interviews, the PTI employees said they did not know accounts had been opened in their names. In his statement, Muhammad Arshad said he had no knowledge of who was sending the funding and from where. Similarly, Muhammad Rafiq said the PTI’s finance department just used to take blank checks signed by him.

All four employees have already challenged the FIA notices in the Islamabad High Court, urging for the notices to be dismissed and the FIA barred from acting against the petitioners.

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