n Obtains party’s two benami accounts record.

PTI leaders summoned by FIA didn’t hold public offices in 2022-12: Fawad.

Probe being conducted in a transparent way, says Marriyum.

ISLAMABAD    -   The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) yesterday widened the scope of investigations into the PTI foreign funding case as it obtained records of two benami accounts that the party concealed from the Election Commission of Pakistan in violation of the Constitution and the law. Both accounts were opened at the request of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and he was among the people who operated them.

Meanwhile, the FIA also summoned another PTI leader and former Sindh governor Imran Ismail for interrogation in the case.

Imran Ismail has been summoned by the agency on August 15, MPA Seema Zia on August 10, and officers of two private banks on the 10th of this month.

The development comes a day after the FIA obtained records of four other benami accounts opened in the name of PTI’s employees including Muhammad Arshad, Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Rafique, and Nauman Afzal. The said employees have reportedly recorded their statements before the FIA officials saying they did not know the source of funding received in their accounts.

The FIA has formed five investigation teams to collect data and record statements in various cities led by the Islamabad team. A section of the ECP ruling focused on the PTI’s benami and undeclared accounts.

Two of these accounts were opened at a private bank in Islamabad “on the request of Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman PTI with account title of PTI,” a three-member ECP bench wrote in the verdict handed down on August 2.

According to FIA authorities, 13 accounts have been identified in which these funds were transferred, and the agency has issued notices to the banks under which these accounts have been operating.

While reacting to the FIA summons to the PTI leaders, party leader Fawad Chaudhry said these persons did not hold public offices in 2011-12 — the period in which the party purportedly received prohibited funding.

“I do not understand in what capacity the FIA is issuing notices to our leaders. These people were not public officeholders in 2011-12,” Chaudhry said at a news conference here.

However, he said, “We are cooperating with the FIA.”

Several prominent PTI leaders including Imran Ismail, Seema Zia, Mahmood ur Rasheed and Asad Qaiser were summoned by the agency.

Talking about the ECP verdict in the case, Fawad insisted that the details of all accounts had been provided. He also called for conducting an annual audit of all political parties, adding that there should be no leniency in this regard.

On the other side, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said implementation on the ECP verdict in the PTI prohibited funding case was underway.

“The decision in the PTI’s foreign funding case has been given, which is being implemented as per law,” she said in a news statement while reacting to PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry’s comments on social media.

She said the PTI had been declared a “foreign aided” party under the Political Parties Order 2002. Imran Khan had submitted false affidavit with ECP five times as per the decision.

The PTI sought 51 adjournments, changed nine lawyers, and filed 11 petitions with the court regarding the foreign funding case, the minister observed.

She said, “All doors are closed for a foreign agent and foreign aided party in the law.”

The minister said the PTI was needed to submit reply in the ECP where it failed to justify a single rupee of the funds received in the bank account. There was no need of any response now, she added.