Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has defended Arif Naqvi, the Pakistani businessman who is facing corruption charges in the United States, as the government criticised PTI Chairperson Imran Khan for receiving funds from the Abraaj Group founder after a damning Financial Times report.
As the country awaits the verdict reserved by the Election Commission of Pakistan into the PTI's prohibited funding, an expose by the Financial Times has blown the lid off Pakistani tycoon Arif Naqvi's involvement in the party's finances and how a significant portion of its funding in 2013 was of foreign origin.
According to the report, "Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013, adding up to a total of $2.12 million".
In response, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry asked local media not to portray "our people as villains", as when a Pakistani Muslim's influence crosses a certain benchmark, it is not welcomed by the "Israeli lobby".
"Arif Naqvi's Abraaj Group became a $14 billion company. And when any Muslim and especially a Pakistani Muslim's influence crosses a certain limit, then it isn't welcomed by the Israeli lobby".
"Why should we become part of a propaganda campaign when we know it's Israel-backed?"
In a separate statement, Fawad said that the PTI demands that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should announce the verdict in all three parties' — PTI, PML-N, and PPP — funding case be announced at the same time.
"The PTI has submitted the details of more than 40,000 donors to the ECP. Overseas Pakistanis, just like they support Pakistan, they also support PTI," he said.