Original Articles

Imran Khan’s financial credibility five months down the road

In May 2011, we had published two original articles titled “Imran Khan’s Financial Credibility” (10th May, 2011) and “Some questions about Imran Khan’s PTI NA-USA LLC” (13th May, 2011). The purpose of both the articles was not to taint Imran Khan and his PTI with sweeping statements like being corrupt, dishonest and unprincipled. Both the articles merely raised questions related to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (that manages the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Isnaaf’s PTI-USA LLC, registered as a limited liability company in the USA.

In the articles, we did a small review of Shaukat Khanum’s annual audited financial statements for the year 2009 and also questioned the role of PTI-USA LLC in registering protests. Both the articles were written from a financial and logical perspective and raised pertinent questions. The logic was:

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital is the proud brainchild of Imran Khan –> It is a successful venture in the country where success is quite limited –> Imran Khan is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of SKMT and we can assume he has significant interest and say in the management of the Trust –> If there is something wrong in the Trust’s working i.e. investment policies as highlighted in the article, then we can ask questions and deserve to get a decent response.

What the result was tirade of counter allegations from Imran Khan’s fans and PTI workers. Let us assume that Imran Khan is the Messiah and PPP and President Zardari are the worst in the country, does that make something wrong in the SKMT as right?

The other article asked if PTI-USA LLC, being a registered entity, had done any protests against drone attacks and Afia Siddiqui’s imprisonment; and their activities in registering protests with relevant authorities. Again, the result was counter allegations and challenges by PTI supporters.

Having written the articles in May 2011, we have been regularly visiting the SKMT website’s Annual Report page, hoping to read the 2010 Annual Report. As of 7th November, 2011, 7.57 pm, the 2010 Annual Report is not available.

SKMT Website Screenshot

Hopefully, someday soon, the financial statements will be available. Generally, I have seen that even philanthropic organizations declare their audited financial statements within 6-9 months of end of financial year. The delay in declaration of statements is not looked positively. FOR PTI SUPPORTERS, PLEASE NOTE, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PTI. THIS IS ABOUT SKMT, WHERE IN THE PAST I HAVE ALSO MADE SOME DONATIONS THEREFORE I DO DESERVE TO KNOW A LITTLE.

One must also appreciate, that our articles were not written in the aftermath of the 30th October, 2011 PTI Jalsa in Lahore. Whilst a lot of people may have started questioning Imran Khan post the Jalsa, our articles were written more than five months earlier.

We as democratic followers, despite of being from opposite poles, appreciate the show of strength Mr. Imran Khan and his party organized. Getting 100,000 people in today’s insecure times, is no mean achievement. After the jalsa, a lot of anti-PTI and anti-Imran Khan people have started making allegations of impropriety against Imran Khan. One such report appeared in Dawn News on 3rd November, 2011.

In this clip, Dawn News has highlighted Imran Khan’s assets and income tax returns submitted. For FY2007, when Imran Khan was a member of parliament, he declared his assets to be worth Rs. 34,545,769/- whilst also stating he has no property abroad. In Talhar, Islamabad, he has declared 39 Kanals and 9 Marlas as Agricultural Land with a worth of Rs. 830,000. He has also shown 300 Kanals land in Mohra Noor, Islamabad as being gifted to him (!!!!) and 530 Kanals land in Mian Chunnoo as worth Rs. 50,000/-. In FY2010, the income tax he has submitted was around Rs. 1.85 million. Dawn News, while adding, say that in Mohra Noor, Imran Khan has a “buhat bara ghar maujood” and as per their sources, he had bought the land at Rs. 150,000 per Kanal in Mohra Noor whereas Imran Khan claimed that it was gifted to him. By whom, it has not been declared. For Mian Chunoo land,  Dawn News claims that it is irrigated land and worth millions easily.

Now comes the confusion. Haroon-ur-Rasheed, noted journalist and a known supporter of Imran Khan (I have personal respect for Mr. Rasheed for being a relatively honest person) has in his column in Jang dated 4th November, 2011 titled “قریب تر ہے نمود جس کی…”, has added to the confused state of affairs. He says which I am trying to translate as:

“Servants and those looking to serve in future have made the Captain’s house as controversial. Firstly, anyone can make or purchase anything with his honest and true source of income. Secondly, 280 Kanals of land was bought at a price of Rs. 140,000 per Kanal, and approximately Rs. 20 million were spent on construction. How much is this? In those days, a 2 Kanal house in E-7 would cost the same. He is fortunate that prices rose in this area and it rose as much as 30 times, just like his popularity has. He sourced this money by selling his flat in London, which he had bought for GBP 50,000 at a price of GBP 700,000. The money was remitted through banking channel. Each penny has been paid tax upon.”

This coming from Haroon ur Rasheed sahab, has to have some value. 280 Kanals @ Rs. 140,000 = Rs. 39,200,000 and Rs. 20,000,000 on construction gives it a cost of Rs. 59 million approximately.  Unfortunately, this is more likely to be true, but what Imran Khan stated in his FY2007 statement of assets as a member parliament was misleading. Either of the above is true. Imran Khan’s submitted statement (I am assuming has been signed by him) or Haroon ur Rasheed sahab. If Haroon ur Rasheed is true then Dawn News has hit the right spot while Imran Khan has knowingly given a wrong statement and misled the people.

I am willing to forgive him for his erroneous statement, but then he has no right to claim that if leaders do not declare their assets, then he is going to give a call for Civil Disobedience. Just like he did in FY2007, members of parliament have submitted their statements. He and his party are most welcome to challenge the submissions, if he feels like.

I have asserted many times that the way assets are valued in Pakistan is incorrect. Imran Khan would have done the nation a lot better if he would have said that “upon coming into government, I will change the basis of valuation of assets and properties so that we can ascertain the real worth of wealthy in Pakistan.” Unfortunately, he would never do or say that. After all, Imran Khan belongs to the rich and privileged class and he would further the interests of his own kind first before thinking about the awam of Pakistan.

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Ahmed Iqbalabadi

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  • PTI’s financial scruples —Dr Mohammad Taqi

    If one red US cent goes towards putting a US soldier in harm’s way, that does not reflect well on the US officials who had been cosying up to Imran Khan and had a meeting with him just before the Lahore rally

    In the wake of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore last month, a flurry of reports and opinions has appeared. These perspectives range from laudatory and supportive of the PTI and its leader Imran Khan to strong criticism and downright condemnation. A lot of information and perhaps disinformation has been circulating on the traditional and contemporary media about the financial disclosures of the PTI and indeed, of its leader.

    Ali Aftab Saeed, the lead vocalist of the band Beyghairat Brigade, whose single ‘Aalu Anday’ has been a hit political satire, took a crack at it in a local English daily this past weekend. Aftab wrote: “Imran Khan is very determined about keeping a check on the assets of the current political figures. But shouldn’t these good intentions begin at home? A well-known political analyst from PTI said that Imran’s annual income culminates to 2 crores from which he donates around 1 crore to Shaukat Khanum and other non-profit institutions. But one can’t but have conjectures about where the dough is coming from for all his campaigning.” Aftab also asked who picked up the tab for the logistics, including the fanfare, musical entertainment and floodlighting at the PTI’s very successful event.

    But even before the PTI’s Lahore rally a lot of questions were being asked about the party’s resources to support its high-profile anti-government and anti-US campaign. Several media people, especially in informal interactions on the social media, have pointed fingers at the PTI for drawing financial support from its foreign and domestic patrons, including the Pakistani establishment. Others have raised concerns whether funds from Imran Khan’s philanthropic projects were diverted to shore up his political fortunes. A media anchor, who had tweeted about whether funds from the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) were going towards the PTI, was apparently being threatened by the PTI-walas.

    In my last column I maintained that there is no reason to doubt Imran Khan’s personal financial integrity and so far I have not seen anything that will change my opinion. But what I have noticed is that there are several genuine questions that have either not been handled well by the PTI and its leaders or answered in a way that added to the confusion rather than clearing the fog over their financial scruples.

    For example, one of the newest converts to the PTI, Mian Muhammad Azhar had, ostensibly, remarked on a recent television show — the YouTube clips of which have now mysteriously disappeared — that Imran Khan does raise funds (simultaneously) for the SKMH and the PTI. A prominent anchor and former information secretary of the PTI, Nasim Zehra, despite her kid-glove treatment of Imran Khan in a recent interview, was forced to ask about his personal assets and property. Even though Ms Zehra did not ask pertinent follow-up questions, Imran Khan was visibly antsy answering queries about his financial propriety.

    The fact is that the media people are not the only ones concerned about the mixing of philanthropy and politics to the extent where it becomes hard to tell one apart from the other. My considered opinion is that SKMH funding remains squeaky clean and it would be highly inappropriate to cast aspersions on that wonderful humanitarian service. There, however, remains a serious issue with how Imran Khan has over the years used the SKMH platform and its fundraisers to peddle his brand of anti-politician politics. About a year ago, at an SKMH charity dinner in Houston, he went on with his usual drivel against the Pakistani politicians, especially President Asif Zardari. A Pakistani-American doctor subsequently got up and protested very vocally that they were there to raise money for a good cause and not to listen to Imran Khan’s political spiel.

    In the interest of maintaining his own good name and that of the stellar charities that he has championed, Imran Khan must not wait for someone to call an audit by saying “mera ehtisaab kar lein” (I am ready for accountability).

    Another important disclosure that Imran Khan has been remiss in making is his political fundraising and lobbying outside Pakistan. For example, the PTI is registered in the US under the Foreign Agent Registration Act 1938, with the stated objectives of organising the party, lobbying the elected and appointed US functionaries and above all for fundraising for political purposes. Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are the only other Pakistani parties similarly registered in the US.

    Imran Khan is a frequent flyer to the US and shortly before his Lahore rally he raised $ 140,000 for PTI at two events in Florida. Now what the PTI USA does is perfectly legitimate and according to the US law as they operate under a US tax identification number and maintain a bank account in the US. But the waters become murky when the US taxpayers’ (in this case predominantly Pakistani-Americans) money is channelised to PTI Pakistan and potentially used for whipping up anti-American hysteria there. Chiding the US Secretary of State, as “Chaachi Clinton” can be conceded as just political theatre. However, it gets trickier when the PTI puts US servicemen and women at risk by blocking the NATO supply lines in Pakistan, which it has done at least twice this year.

    If one red US cent goes towards putting a US soldier in harm’s way, that does not reflect well on the US officials who had been cosying up to Imran Khan and had a meeting with him just before the Lahore rally. Regardless, he must become the change he wants to see and answer questions about the PTI and his own financial scruples. It would only raise his stature, not harm it.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C10%5Cstory_10-11-2011_pg3_2

  • Can you also talk about Zardari’s financial credibility?

    Let us built Pakistan by being a blind follower of Zardari, eh?

    Excellent logic!!!

  • @Janjua,
    Two wrongs dont make a right!!! Imran Khan and the PTI are principled, arent they? So why worry about Zardari and the PPP!!!!

  • You have a right to ask questions and financial transperancy is the hallmark of PTI’s struggle.

    PTI is the only party that regularly issued audited financial statements but recently it has grown exponantially and there were many other priorities like helping in flood relief, organizing the party, increasing membership etc so presenting audited financial statement was put on the back burner for a while.

    Your right to question PTI’s financial credibility is very valid and PTI has challenged all political parties to audit them and their leader’s assets so is PPP ready to accept the challenge!!

    • Janjua, again, you have not read anything and just made a comment. We have raised a point related to 2010 audit of Shaukat Khanum memorial Hospital and the Trust!!! Nothing to do with PTI!!! Why mix up both? Flood relief was being taken care of by PTI? Not by SKMT!!! SKMT has a separate management, doesnt it?
      Regarding your challenge, I have already admitted that PPP is a bad party. So why should you stoop to our level?

  • There is a proper mechanism in place to raise these issues with SKMH managment!!

    LAHORE OFFICE

    Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre
    7-A, Block R-3
    Johar Town, Lahore
    Pakistan

    Tel: +92 42 35945100
    Fax: +92 42 35945208
    UAN: 111-155-555

    Comments/Suggestions: pro@skm.org.pk
    Donation Queries: marketing@skm.org.pk
    International Liaison Office: ilo@skm.org.pk
    —————————–

    Hope this helps, let’s not try to gain political mileage by giving the impression that there is corruption in SKMH and linking it to Imran Khan!!

    • @Janjua,
      No one is saying there is corruption at SKMH. All we are saying that SKMH is the pride of Imran Khan. That being a trust or an organization should clarify their information through audited results. No where has PTI been linked with SKMH. The other logical point that we are trying to make is that as Imran Khan is Chairman of the Board of Governors of SKMH, he has to bring his own house in order. It cant be “meetha-meetha, hup-hup; karwa-karwa, thoo-thoo”.

      If you read the post in May 2011, it raised questions about SKMH picked through points in the 2009 financial statements. I am a banker, if I dont get a client’s financial audited statements until 10 months of passing of preceding year, I have got to worry about the place.

  • ——No where has PTI been linked with SKMH——

    Oh really, than what is this?

    ———–we are trying to make is that as Imran Khan is Chairman of the Board of Governors of SKMH, he has to bring his own house in order——–

    or this

    ——Imran Khan’s financial credibility five months down the road——–

    You are a banker, eh?

    Where in the world do charity run hospitals send audited financial statements to their bankers?

    SKMH was releasing those statements volunterily, it wasn’t required by the government!!!

    Look, here is the bottom line, you are speculating that the rise in PTI’s popularity is funded by donations given to SKMH which is an absurd speculation!!!

    If you were sincere in your quest and concerned about SKMH financial well being, you would simply contact them and get the answers and if there is any problem with those answers than you will strike gold because than you can do a lot of propaganda against PTI and bring it down!!

    But I doubt your sincerety!!

    • @Janjua,
      Those who live in glass houses, cannot and should not throw stones at others. I am saying PPP is bad. If Imran Khan and PTI is good, then it should clarify itself.
      As far as charities declaring their financial statements are concerned, you are absolutely wrong. They have to do it. The concept of “trust” has been created to have the highest level of transparency. Number two, SKMH is not a charitable hospital. It accepts donations but at the same time charges people for facilities and treatments. I know of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, popularly known as SIUT, which doesnt charge anyone irrespective of their capability. It is an oasis in a desert. Anyone who wants to donate, can donate, but he is not charged.

      Imran Khan is a passionate man, and may he live to see his passions being met, but financially I have serious doubts about him.

      In our article, there is mention of the confusion that Mr. Haroon ur Rasheed has tried to clarify, whereas Imran Khan in his FY2007 statements to ECP has claimed this Islamabad property as gift. Isnt that misleading? You have not talked about this at all.

  • @Janjua,

    Another thing, please look at 2009 Financial Statements, the SKMH has loans from Habib Bank and some French loan. It also has short term financing facilities and leasing obligations. There is no way any bank would like such a long delay!

  • Roughly 75% of patients at SKMH are being treated for free similarly ~75% of Students at Numal College study for free. Now do you think that a French Bank and Habib Bank would be alerted if there was any alleged misappropriation of funds at SKMH. AGAIN, if you are everso concerned about it than PLEASE contact SKMH and ask for answers.

    Now about Imran listing the Bani Gala Estate as a Gift is concerned than please watch him on the latest show of Nasim Zahra. Please see the video below starting at 11:00 mins

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jYgkfvM0-vw#!

  • @janjua,

    There is no such thing as roughly in audit! It has to be precise.
    I dont even know where Bani Gala is. All I know is that there is confusion and no one wants to clarify!

  • LOL. It is funny to see the intellectuals suddenly interested in Imran Khan and his finances. Just dismiss him like you always do. I must say the forum is most appropriate. I guess it is PPP’s government? Imran Khan should be dragged to courts and made an example out of. Please guys don’t waste time on these investigations if you are just going to write an article or rather a series of articles. I understand your noble intentions and how much you care for the country. Kion time zaya kar rahay ho iss taliban khan pe. Let’s have a drink and then we can party afterwards. Hail Asif Zardari and Hussain Haqqani. Lovely

  • Most amusing is the neutral bent given to this article and many similar circulating on internet. Great

  • I must say you have identified the right guy to mock. I think we should try to get SKMTH closed down. PTI should be merged with either JI or PML-N. We are living our cosy comfortable lives in Pakistan. Who is this idiot to suggest there is anything wrong in Pakistan or its ruling elite. Money is not an issue for me. I can drink whenever i want. Chicks are hot and dance parties are fun. Though i don’t like the idiots banning porn on internet. We just have to get rid of these black sheep islamists so that when i go on my next tour to US, i can hold my head high. These PTI kids jumping around on social media don’t know how to enjoy life. I bet they never tried grass or cocaine. These shitty low life uneducated idiots don’t know how to live the life to the fullest. Thank you Hussain Haqqani Sahab for exposing the hyprocrite nature of Taliban Khan. Haqqani dude you are lucky and i get jealous at times. The hottest chicks keep floating around you and i only get to watch from the distance. Last time i told Zardari that you have to give me the share of the pie. Man don’t be so greedy. I know you look better than me but let me give it a shot. I have a way with words and i can bet you anything I can beat you to romantic flings if you give me a fair chance. That is all i ask. And who the heck is Taliban Khan to spoil our party. Let the sucker do commentary on cricket.

  • Here is what I have made of IK’s assets:

    Bought flat in London during playing days. Sold it.

    Wanted to buy Bani Gala land in Islamabad, did not have the money as flat was being sold etc. Borrowed money from wife and the land was bought in her name. After divorce, paid ex-wife from money brought to Pakistan via banking channels after flat was sold, and ex-wife transferred land as gift. The per canal price of the land is actually higher than other registries at the same time and it shows IK not only showed the real amount but paid the relevant taxes on them too.

    Agricultural land and Zaman Park residence are inheritance from grandfather to father to Imran. The 50,000 price is when it was bought by his grandfather.

  • If Imran Khan is really honest, he shall visit the relevant Regional Tax Office of FBR and present himself for assessment before Inland Revenue Officer (Income Tax Officer). I bet when he walks out of the office, he’ll be left with not a single shit of penny and he will start begging on the street right thereafter.

  • Moderator: Why is the profanity filled post above is allowed?

    Fahim,
    Care to elaborate, is there anything you know about Imran that we don’t?