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Financial Times Article on Imran Khan (Page 2)

(Previous Page) The funding of the party is at the centre of a years-long investigation by the Election Commission of Pakistan, an inquiry that has taken on even greater importance as Khan — who lost office in April — plots a political comeback.

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But back in 2013, Khan — a World Cup-winning cricket captain — was riding a wave of popular support and campaigning to upend Pakistan’s politics on an anti-corruption ticket. He presented himself to the electorate as a democratic reformer — born in Pakistan and with experience of living in the west — who could break the hold of the political family dynasties that had dominated the country for decades.

Although Khan lost the 2013 general election to longtime rival Nawaz Sharif, his party became the third largest in the National Assembly. Naqvi’s star was also rising. His private equity firm was expanding and winning new investors. He became a regular fixture at World Economic Forum meetings in Davos. In July 2017, Pakistan’s Supreme Court removed Sharif from office over corruption allegations. Khan won the election in July 2018.

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 As prime minister he became increasingly critical of the west, praising Afghanistan’s Taliban when US forces withdrew in 2021, and visiting Vladimir Putin in Moscow on the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February.

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The Election Commission of Pakistan has been investigating the funding of the PTI for more than seven years. In January, the ECP’s scrutiny committee issued a damning report in which it said the PTI received funding from foreign nationals and companies and accused it of under-reporting funds and concealing dozens of bank accounts.

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Wootton Cricket was named in the report, but Naqvi wasn’t identified as its owner. In April, Khan stood down after losing a parliamentary vote of no confidence, triggered in part by rising inflation. He has accused the US of orchestrating the vote and is now attempting to stage a political return to contest a general election due to take place by October 2023. Next Page 3

Posted on  July 29, 2022

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Arif Naqvi surrounded by players during the Wootton T20 Cricket Cup event at his Oxfordshire house





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