My article earlier this week titled “Imran Khan’s financial credibility?” has not gone down well with his supporters, his fan club members and all those who believe he is a ‘messiah’ for Pakistan. After reading comments and attacks on what was written include, the following came out very prominently:
- Not many read the questions that were raised on Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust’s (SKMT) financial management and construed it as an attack on the person of Imran Khan, thinking that the author was terming him corrupt.
- It was highlighted that SKMT being a charity dependent on donations has to be run differently than how an Investment Company would be run. What this means is that it has to be a very risk averse organization, emphasizing on the concept of “playing it safe”
- We also highlighted a potential conflict of interest at SKMT’s board level with investments being made in an opportunity in Oman was presented by a board member, Imtiaz Hyderi (incidentally Hyderi is not a BOG member now).
- Why Imran Khan would matter in all this is, that SKMT was his brainchild and an oasis in the way healthcare is tackled in Pakistan, but the fact remains he is SKMT’s board of governors’ chairman and that any issue in its finances and management will question his credibility. If something goes wrong can he get his hands off any responsibility that “I was not managing it”? Also the way all funding is being raised is on the charm of Imran Khan, which is for sure not sustainable in the long run. What would happen if Imran Khan was to die (like all of us have to)? Would SKMT be able to run and raise donations in the same manner?
We have been donors at one time or the other for SKMT. In essence, we are all stakeholders and have the right to question.
Now let us present a comparison to another charity called ‘The Citizens Foundation‘ that is looking to establish schools across Pakistan and to run them professionally. I have donated to them and will continue to do so. Reason why I will do so is the following:
The organization also depends on donations from all just like SKMT. Look at their investments: all in Pakistani Rupee and in assets in Pakistan. All of their investments of Rs 85 million are in Pakistani companies bonds/TFCs. Similarly, deposits are in Pakistani Rupee and Pakistani Banks. Similarly, Rs. 101 million in endowment fund is in Pakistan. And remember, it’s not a small charity. They raised Rs. 693 million in 2010. The BOG members of the TCF are all from corporate sector. Don’t you think they know they can invest abroad too?
Coming to another matter which is Imran Khan’s politics, his current mantra is ‘ghairat’, ‘inqalab’, ‘drone attacks’, ‘Afia Siddiqui’s imprisonment’. He has already interrupted NATO supply in Peshawar for two days last month.
In impressive crowds, one could see Jamat Ud Dawa, Sipah Sahaba and JUI-S supporters and flags. That makes us all the more skeptical of whom he is supporting and getting support from. Imran Khan has announced stopping Nato supplies from Karachi on 21st may. He claims that this is what ‘ghairat’ is all about. So many Pakistanis are killed by drone attacks, according to him, but as I write, 87 Pakistanis have been killed in Shabqadr tehseel, Charsadda district on Friday, 13th May. Probably this was the same argument Dr Pervaiz Hoodbhoy was giving in 2009 that caused Imran Khan to call him ‘american’s security adviser’.
Now coming to the drone attacks, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf claims to be a registered political party in the USA. It goes by the name ‘PTI NA-USA LLC’ and is proud to even declare its annual financial statements on its website, showing their transparency. Who is doing the drone attacks? USA. Who has imprisoned Pakistan ki beti ‘Dr. Afia’? USA. Why is Pakistan suffering these days? Because of support of war on terror to the USA. If these are all true, I dare to question Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf about:
- How many demonstrations PTI-NA USA LLC has organized in usa against:
- Drone attacks
- Dr Afia’s imprisonment
- How many protest memos it has submitted to the US Department of Defence, CIA and the White House?
- How many members of US Congress and Senate it has met and apprised of this matter?
If they are a political party registered in the USA, then they have all the right to protest and not be afraid of any repercussions. If they haven’t, then that is to be questioned as well. If they haven’t, is it possibly because they are not registered as a political party but as a limited liability company to organize events for Imran Khan?
These are all legitimate questions which I dare to pose to all Imran Khan fans and supporters. BTW, some of his supporters consider the PPP and PPP’s supporters their enemies. This goes to show their mental maturity. There are no enemies in politics nor foes. I think after all their verbal fights against the MQM, Imran Khan met Altaf Bhai a few days back.
In the end, I reiterate, Imran Khan was my childhood cricketing hero and a lot of fond memories are connected to his cricket, but for sure not with his politics.