PTI received $1.2m from US donors after taking power

A major chunk received days before Khan's ouster; other political parties also set up firms to raise funds

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continued to raise funds from the United States even when Imran Khan was the prime minister of Pakistan, with the party receiving the last tranche of donations/funds weeks before Khan was ousted by a no-trust vote, revealed official documents obtained from the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Although Imran Khan’s PTI is not the only party to raise funds in the United States, it has emerged as the sole political entity that continued to receive funds from the USA even when it was in power in Pakistan, the DoJ record shows.

SAMAA TV’s premier Investigation Unit conducted an intensive weeks-long investigation to probe how and when five Pakistani political parties formed firms in the USA to raise millions of dollars in recent years.

The fundraising efforts of the PTI and other political parties were covered under US law as they reported it to the DoJ. However, it is not clear whether all of the funding was declared to the Election Commission of Pakistan under the Political Parties Order 2022.

Read: ECP to announce verdict in PTI’s foreign funding case

The PTI raised nearly $1.2 million between September 2018 and March 2022—the era when Imran Khan sat at the helm of affairs in the country. The party’s top leadership also raised over $3.4 million between 2010 and 2017, revealed the official record made available with this correspondent.

The US nationals Sajjad Burki, Kalsoom Syed, Junaid Bashir, Amjad Siddiqi, Sam Khan, Faisal Irshad, Qamar Zaman, Ali Asim, Dr Razak, Dr Tariq Butt, Abrar Khan, Dr Abdullah Riar, Kaleem Syed, Mohammad Akram, Mohammad N Khan, Abdul Hafeez Khan and Salman Aftab got registered half a dozen firms to raise funds and remained part of this campaign.

Over one hundred locals, private firms, companies, NGOs and individuals donated for PTI’s campaigns, showed the DoJ record.

The firms in question were registered by the foreign nationals under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 1938 with DoJ in the United States where nearly five hundred active firms were registered.

Sam Khan of PTI LLC USA and other organizers raised $293,821 in September 2021.

PTI USA’s Abrar Khan told the DoJ that he raised $8,000 in March 2022. US nationals Ahsan Maqsood and Umer Khan submitted details of donors with DoJ in Oct 2018, revealing that the PTI raised $5,748 from different donors in September 2019.

PTI raised funds of $107,220 in April 2020. PTI USA LLC California through a firm reported to the Justice Department that it raised funds worth $480, 000 by September 2018.

Official documents further revealed that PTI raised donations worth $117,000 on April 30, 2017.

PTI officials in the United States revealed the sources of funding to Department of Justice

The PTI US-LLC raised donations worth $401,956 but transferred $305,000 in April 2015 and $75,000 in October 2016 to accounts of PTI Pakistan. President PTI USA LLC California, Sajjad Burki, a US citizen, was part of this campaign.

PTI Pakistan received contributions/funds worth $90,000 through multiple accounts in 2014. Aftab Shah, an American citizen and Ali Asim Khan, a Canadian national, raised these funds, revealed the documents.

PTI US LLC, (Registration Number 5975) raised $2.344 million from Feb 2010 to June 2013. A US national Mohammad N Khan formed this company while another firm (Registration Number 6160) raised around $850,000 from April 2013 to April 2017 and the practice went on.

Official documents further revealed that PTI Pakistan received $190,000 in 2011. Party raised funds worth some $775,000 in June 2012 and then another tranche worth $284,000 collected through different firms in December 2012.

What PTI has to say

PTI leader Senator Ali Zafar says, every political party under the PPO 2002 is obligated to disclose source of funds/donations. “Election laws allow accepting donations from individual including foreign nationals. A party can create firms to raise funds, if it discloses source of income,” Mr Zafar said.

“The PTI could form a firm like other parties under US laws for raising donations but collected amount must be disclosed in its annual declarations submitted with ECP,” he added.

Other parties—Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – have formed firms in the United States in a move either to raise donations/ funds or to run their campaigns, revealed the documents.

Firms involved in funding

Documents further revealed that some private firms also directly/indirectly contributed to the fundraising campaigns of PTI in the US.

Some of entities among them were named as the Executive Brokerage, Barry C. Schneps, Lab USA Inc, Cross Island Service, Fasa Contracting Inc, Metalocke Industries Inc, Blue Star Contracting, Sanober Enterprises, Alpha Restoration, Friendly Ride Inc, Old Northern Auto Body, Darts Contracting Co, Freedom Line Ltd, Bio-Chem Technology Lab, IMGC Global, LLC, Roy Smoke Plus, IMGC Global, LLC, Nexlogic Technologies, Zytek Corp, Curry Village Foods, Eventbrite: NY, Snoblaze Corporation, Sabnaz Int. Century 21 Town & Country, Inpatient Care, Peter McNee Smale, Eventbrite, New Wave Travel, Advanced Cardiovascular, Healing Hands of Virginia, Old Northern Auto Body, Crystal Classic Coac, MSP Contracting LLC, Peak Performance, Midwest Medical Grou, Ashi Salons, Inc.-Katy,OSD Management LLC,Cellular Xperts,Reco Ga,Tax Magic,Saratoga Dental,Khen, Inc,Hospitalist Consulting,Calval Appraisal Services Inc,A-l Towin,1656477 Alberta Ltd, 1346274 Alberta ltd, 1346274 Alberta ltd, 1376915 Alberta Inc, Nexlogic Technologies, Inc, AZ Pak Friends, Quality Fuel, Checkers Truck Stop Inc, Waleed Investments, Inc, 1656477 Alberta Ltd, First Medical Care, Pasha & Associates Inc, Pulmonary ICU Medical PLL, Tallahassee Drilling Inc, 1059525 Alberta Ltd, Chiatric Assc-Aftab Qadir, Chiatric Assc, Pakam & DBA Dish Link, Dish Express LLC, S J Watts, Prime Motors LLC, SHS, IGIVU LLC, King Auto Repair & Body Shop Inc, Café Descartes Company, Pro-Rider Leather, Inc, Advance Medical Equipment, Inc, 53rd Street Corp, Spectrum Diagnostics Imaging Inc, B& M Plastic Inc, Midwest Cricket Conference, G’S Gas LLC, The William Washington Limited Liability Company, Helen Tiwah Owusu-Akoto, Korkor Owusu-Akoto Atlas Khan, A High Tech Refrigeration, Midway Airport Hotel Partnership, Midway Trading Group Inc, Chemquest International Inc, Chicago Staging, SMAKUMD LLC, Healing Hands of Virgina PLLC, Cash In Debt, A+ Wireless, Pediatrics Of Sarasota Inc, DBA Macs Corner, Virginia Health & Wellness PC, Pediatrics of Sarasota Inc, Penn Stat Inc, Chadds Ford Dental Village, HME Executive Coach, Inc, Marveric Creative Concepts LLC, Smakumd LLC, Healing Hands of Virginia, Vocalinkz, Microshop Trading Ltd, Avon Store, Focus Auto Ltd, Probist Inc, Nex G Mobility, Betty Home Improvements, Larisa Parfenteva, ETRAV Ltd, Logo Arena, Click and Collect Limited, MyPrime Trading, Phone World, The William Washington Limited LI, Tea-dailyshop,Spectrum Diagnostic Imaging Inc, Bargain Bay, Impression Textiles, KA Services (UK) Ltd, Klik Print Pty Ltd, King Sweets Inc, Magic Toyz Ltd, BestBuys LLC, Café Descartes Company, Marbleville, Bright Smiles LLC, PowerLAN Inc, Dot Vision Systems Ltd, Simco Parts, Midway Airport Hotel Partnership, Arable Enterprises, Chieves, Boom Imports, LinuxloT, Cruz Web, Allies Security Services, My Phone Repairs Inc, XpressteX, LinkSense GmBH, CyberQuest Solutions, Stylo Group Ltd, Sassicouture, INTL BS Inc, ITeation,Leonzio Ltd, Bright Traders, Digitixers,GPTOOLS (UK) LTD, Wilbury (UK) Ltd, S J Watts,Coffee Culture,TradeIndeed.com, At Eaze,Ebigbuys.com, Fix My Phone,Logix Mobility, MSHZ International, NYC Use Car Sales Inc, Prime Motors LLC, Atlanta Best Used Cars, Beyond EBC, Pacific Service LLC, AA Driving Academy, Inc, Quantum SEO Labs, Texpertz Photography and this list goes on.

The record showed donors paid an amount starting from $50 to $1000 each through these firms directly or indirectly for the party.

Musharraf’s APML

Former president General Musharraf’s party—APML—raised an estimated $164,000 in 2011 and 2012, revealed documents which did not show whether these funds were transferred to Pakistan or not.

Two American nationals, Raza Bokhari and Adeel Shah jointly formed three firms APML LLC. Firms (Registration Numbers 6062-6018-6019) got registered with the DoJ and jointly collected donations/ funds worth some $270,000. Dr Amjad of APML denied accepting donations/ funds from abroad saying, “They have not received even a single penny neither from Foreign nor from any Pakistani company or donor agency.”

PPP

The PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, through an American firm Bursen Marsteller, also registered a firm (Registration Number 2469) in 2006, showed the official record.

The firm remained operative till June 30, 2007, where it involved a deal worth around $110,000 aiming to expand its outreach in America and getting more strong political support in Pakistan.

Documents, however, did not reveal whether PPP generated funds through this firm or not.

“I’ve no knowledge of taking funds from any US Company. PPP has never received any funding from abroad. All monies we receive come from party’s members,” responded Senator Saleem Mandviwalla of the PPP.

MQM

The MQM Pakistan also registered a firm (Registration Number 6005) with JoD under FARA 1938 having an address of Nine Zero, Azizabad, Pakistan. Its registrants are Ibad Rehman, a Canadian national, Ajaz Siddiqui, an American national; Dr Farooq Sattar and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi for collecting donations/funds for political campaigns and other projects in Pakistan. But how much amount MQM raised through this firm was not clear yet as no one from MQM Pakistan offered any comment on it till the filing of this story.

PMLN

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) also got registered a firm (with registration No. 6521) with DoJ in 2018. The party, however, did not tell DoJ whether it raised any donations in the USA or not, according to the record.

All these parties, however, neither disclosed these firms in their latest annual statements 2015-16 nor in the past, which is apparently a clear violation of Section 6 and 13 of the Political Parties Order, 2002 (PPO). It categorically states, “Accepting foreign funds through domestically incorporated public or private firms by parties is prohibited.”

Chapter-II of the PPO 2002 reads: “Any contribution made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign government, multinational or domestically incorporated public or private company, firm, trade or professional association shall be prohibited – contributions or donations, as the case may be, accepted by political parties are prohibited under clause (3) of Article 6.”

SAMAA TV’s dropped questions to MQM and the PMLN but their responses were awaited.

PTI foreign funding case

Foreign funding

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