Now that the scrutiny committee of the Election Commission of Pakistan has confirmed that the PTI received funding from foreign nationals as well as companies, and also under-reported those funds and concealed dozens of bank accounts, it has become crystal clear as to exactly why the Prime Minister and his band of yes-men practically bent over backwards to keep a lid on the foreign funding case for as long as possible. For a party that has cleverly built its main narrative around accountability, with a politician who’s always claimed that accountability would start from him whenever he came to top office leading it, doing exactly the opposite when the spotlight was on the party’s funding ought to be suffice to show what this bunch has really been up to.
There’s more. The scrutiny committee report also mentions a refusal by the party to divulge details of large transactions and also the panel’s ‘helplessness to get details of PTI’s foreign accounts and funds collected abroad’. So, what we have here is a person heading a party going out of his way to convince everybody that he’s clean as a whistle while all the while he’s clearly been running foul of the constitution by accepting money from prohibited sources and routing it to the country through hidden accounts; and then subverting the judicial process to derail legal proceedings while still keeping the garb about honesty, accountability, and more.
Remember that this is the same country and the same legal fraternity that booted a three-time sitting Prime Minister just because he held technical employment in, and therefore was likely to gain monetary benefit from, a foreign firm run by his own son—even though he never took a penny as salary. The person that made the loudest noise about Nawaz Sharif taking financial benefit from outside the country was none other than Imran Khan. Who knew then that he was himself neck deep in a much worse money-spinning scheme the whole time?
Now, to use Imran Khan’s own reasoning, how is the country to know whether this wasn’t just another exercise that leveraged black money stashed abroad to route it back to the country through PTI and whiten it in the process and also help one party take over the government? And, to use Imran Khan’s own reasoning one more time, when a politician especially a leader is under scrutiny, shouldn’t he resign from public office at least till he’s able to clear his name?
This particular case requires the state to move much more promptly though. It has dragged on for more than seven years, but the cat is finally out of the bag. And there should be no question of even giving the PM a chance to resign any longer. If legal precedent has any meaning, he must be brought to the court and answer not only for the money and hiding it for so long, but also for taking advantage of loopholes in the legal process to delay matters for years. These are, of course, lines that he’s already crossed. From there he must also be asked what exactly he was planning to do by operating in this manner?
There are enough people in the country that can draw no other conclusion from PTI’s (mis)rule than that this party has been deliberately trying to unwind the very fabric that holds Pakistan together. Now we’re seeing that the party has been funded via suspect sources since the beginning. These people who move from day to day by heaping blame and accusations on others should be asked if it wasn’t them that were playing to the tune of the enemies of this country all along.
Where there’s smoke, there’s definitely fire—and there’s enough smoke around this foreign funding case to imply a big and very dangerous fire not far away. It is now up to the pillars that hold this state up to root out his evil once and for all. And they must move with great speed. We’ve dropped so low over the past three or four years that at stake is the very future of the country.