Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf keeps roaring on the money of political leaders abroad and how that is affecting our country’s development. Imran Khan is known to be a person of means, and this I am quite certain that he has certain obligations abroad, like an ex-wife and sons living with his ex-wife. Does he send the kids any money or he doesn’t? If he does, he either does it from Pakistan, through remittance or has accounts abroad. If he doesn’t, that would speak volumes about the man who preaches morality, ghairat and honor. These are his personal matters and should not be discussed that much, however, something more public is his accomplished project of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust.
Before I begin, I want to highlight, why I am writing piece. Imran Khan after his Party’s CEC meeting, while briefing the press:
“He lamented the ruling elite had their accounts abroad and were taking away billions of dollars, as these were never spent for the welfare of the masses.”
I have just downloaded the 2009 financial statements of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust audited by AF Ferguson & Co. The 2010 statements are not yet available.
Some points I have noted, include:
- During 2009, the cash donations and zakat received by the Trust was Rs. 1.485 billion compared to Rs. 1.106 billion in 2008. The statements do not show the sources of the donations i.e. geography. We don’t know how much was raised in Pakistan and how much abroad. We can assume that if not majority, a significant amount is raised in Pakistan.
- Imran Khan talks against money being kept abroad. In notes to accounts number 11, I can see an amount at cost of US $5.5mn invested in form of capital protected notes in foreign funds. With interest rates down globally I am sure these notes are not yielding much.
- As much as $3mn is invested in a Virgin Islands based SPV called Cinnabar International Services that is doing a real estate project in Oman. The Omani market is as much affected like the rest of GCC. Based on investment analysis some Omani companies are down 35pc on the valuation. One also must ask why is the portfolio restricted to Oman? Isn’t this against the concept that Imran Khan keeps talking about. Instead of investing his portfolio in Pakistan where his own project that is operational he is investing abroad? By the way, the project in Oman is run by a company whose CEO is a member of Board of Governors of SKMT named Imtiaz H. Hyderi. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
- As much as Rs. 99 mn in Bank of Punjab as fixed deposit and NIB Bank Rs. 18 million. The return expected is not known. These two are not the top tier banks of Pakistan. It is also a matter of surprise that Bank of Punjab is considered to be in trouble in light of their performance and the scandals. Why does the Trust consider these two banks only for their fixed deposits?
- There is another $4mn invested with Credit Agricole funds in Guernsey without explanation as to where the money is being invested in.
Is this the level transparency you would like to have with an organization whose head and a prominent public figure preaches morality? Is this morality that on one hand you lambast the political leadership that they have their money abroad, but on the other hand, you yourselves are investing money raised from general public in risky avenues? What would happen if the investments of nearly US$ 12.5 million were to go bust? That is almost Rs. 1.062 billion! Please think about it.
The public trusts Imran Khan; the problem is that he trusts the Taliban and defends them in public by denying their crimes against humanity.
Given the huge capital inflows into his various projects, can we trust Imran Khan to not donate money to terrorist organizations like the Taliban and their local affiliates, many of whom like Sipah Sahaba and Jamaat Dawa gave him support for his recent “dharna”?
Does the ISI view Imran Khan’s Trusts as a conduit to funnel money to Jihadis? These are all pertinent questions that come to mind when evaluating and auditing Imran Khan. Imran Khan recently won the Jinnah society award for his flood relief efforts. These efforts were not altruistic and were focused on gaining political mileage at the cost of actual flood relief efforts.
When President Zardari travelled to the UK which was the largest donor to Pakistan’s flood relief efforts, Imran Khan’s PTI combined with Hizb ul Tahrir to launch protests that called for Sharia. Given that there are inconsistencies in his own flood relief efforts, would it not be fair to ask for a detailed audit of all the funds that Imran Khan collected from Western democracies like UK, Canada and the US; an indication of his utter hypocrisy given his visceral hatred of Western thought!
We are all troubled at Imran Khan’s extremist views, his defence for the Taliban and his character attack on Pakistan’s noted scientist, intellectual and peace activist, Dr. Pervaiz Hoodbhoy. Imran proceeded to follow this with actual threats of physical violence against the good professor.
As far as Mr. Imran Khan is concerned, we request him again to bring his house in order before pointing generally towards others. SKMT is without doubt a proud project which belongs not to Imran Khan or other trustees but also to each and every person who gets treated there or ever donated to it. People will challenge what I have said, just to reiterate, I donated for the first time for SKMT way back in 1990, when for me Imran Khan epitomised a “hero”!!!!
Related post: Some questions about Imran Khan’s PTI NA-USA LLC – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi