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Imran Khan ‘biggest thief’, PTI foreign funding case biggest fraud: Maryam Nawaz


Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan, calling him “the biggest thief” and termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) foreign funding case the “biggest fraud in Pakistan’s history”.

Addressing a gathering outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Maryam said the cases against her father Nawaz Sharif were expedited and decided within days but the ECP had held 70 hearings of the PTI case since 2014, Dawn reported.

She targeted Imran Khan and accused him of stopping the case 30 times.

“Today the PDM and public ask you, if you did not steal, then why did you try to stop the case 30 times?” she asked.

She accused the Election Commission’s scrutiny committee of being lenient on Khan and PTI, adding that the list of their crimes was very long.

“If you were so innocent why did you give applications to keep the proceedings secret?… This means theft took place and very big theft was done,” Maryam said.

The PML-N vice president also mentioned that the State Bank of Pakistan had identified “23 state accounts” of the PTI and claimed that they were being operated through Imran Khan’s signatures.

“The scrutiny committee itself admits that it cannot give us the facts because Imran Khan has stopped (it from doing so). Now you know the person who cried chor! chor! (thief!) turned out to be the biggest thief,” she added.

Maryam said all parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an 11-party opposition alliance – had gathered outside the ECP to remind it of its constitutional obligations.

“Today we have gathered in front of the ECP office to remind it of its constitutional responsibilities, to tell the chief election commissioner that your institution is a constitutional institution and an institution of the people. This is the institution that the Constitution has made responsible for respecting the people’s votes and this is the institution that had to get respect for the people’s votes,” she added.

Dawn reported that PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other top leaders of the alliance were present on the stage alongside Maryam.

Speaking at the gathering, PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal also lashed out the PTI government, saying that it was imposed on Pakistan through “illegal money”.

“Our social fabric has been destroyed, the economy has been destroyed, CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) has been destroyed. Time has come to send home this incompetent, inefficient, selected leader,” he said.

Iqbal also remarked that the premier would not remain in power as PDM would organise a long march to “end his reign”.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan leader Owais Noorani said the entire nation was anxious that the foreign funding case was not being decided though it was pending for six years.

He said the rally was demanding accountability from the ECP, and accused the body of “holding back” election results after the end of polling to allegedly ensure opposition’s defeat.

Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) president Sardar Akhtar Mengal said the PDM was asking for “supremacy of the Constitution”.

“People want supremacy of the Constitution but the rulers and establishment have crushed it under their boots,” he alleged.

Earlier today, Maryam and PPP’s Sherry Rehman shared visuals of separate entourages, each being led by leaders of the respective parties, moving towards a decided meeting point in the capital from where they headed towards the ECP office, Dawn reported.

Speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for the PDM rally, PDM chief Rehman said: “The assets hidden by the (PTI) party which calls itself the ruling party, the foreign funding case against it, six years have passed and around 150 hearings have been held but the government is delaying it by constantly filing requests. They have not declared their documents and hidden assets, they are still trying to hide them.”

ECP building had been completely sealed with concrete blocks and barbed wire surrounding it and over a thousand security officials, including police and 300 Rangers personnel, have been deployed outside the ECP headquarters, officials said.

The foreign funding case against PTI was filed in November 2014 by Akbar S Babar, a founding member of the party. He had alleged serious financial irregularities in PTI’s accounts.

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