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PTI Has Nothing to Fear from Foreign Funding Case: Imran Khan

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Pakistan’s prime minister directs government spokespersons to ‘expose’ the opposition’s propaganda at all forums

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday claimed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had nothing to fear from the ongoing foreign funding case, and directed government spokespersons to “expose” the opposition’s propaganda against the party.

Presiding over a meeting of government officials during which he was briefed on matters related to the Broadsheet LLC scandal, the foreign funding case, and an ongoing crackdown on alleged land-grabbers, he claimed that the people trying to trap the PTI through the case pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan would be trapped “in a ditch” themselves.

“We did not receive any funding from ‘banned’ countries—India and Israel,” the prime minister was quoted as saying in response to opposition allegations that he had received donations from those states in a bid to oust the previous government led by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). He also directed the spokespersons to counter the opposition at all forums, including and especially the media.

The opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement alliance has in recent days sought to centralize its anti-government campaign on the foreign funding case, claiming the long delays in its resolution “prove” that the incumbent government is trying to hide illegal sources of funding. Claiming it is “Pakistan’s biggest scandal,” PDM leaders have alleged that its successful conclusion would oust Khan from power.

Broadsheet

In the same meeting, Khan vowed that the government would do a thorough investigation of the Broadsheet scandal, in which the U.K.-based assets recovery firm won arbitration against the National Accountability Bureau that saw it paid $28 million from the government’s coffers. “Those who benefited from the matter would be exposed,” Khan said, adding that the opposition was mistaken if it believed that facts could be hidden behind propaganda.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to broaden the scope of their operation against the “land mafia” in the country, taking specific aim at the PMLN. “The PMLN has always provided patronage to occupiers of government lands,” he claimed. “No one can occupy government land without political patronage,” he alleged.

Referring to recent statements from the PMLN of its workers being targeted by the government—PMLN MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar’s house in Lahore was demolished over the weekend for being an “illegal construction”—Khan claimed it was “surprising” to see the government’s attempts to reclaim occupied land being branded as “political victimization.” He directed the spokespersons to inform the nation about the details of the operations being carried out against land grabbers.

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