- Khan admits investing funds worth $3 million.
- Says SKMT board had told him about investment.
- Court adjourns case till further hearing.
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan admitted that he invested funds worth $3 million donated to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) in a housing project, The News reported Sunday.
The revelation was made during a hearing of an Rs10 billion defamation case filed against Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday. The former prime minister appeared in the court from his Lahore residence in Zaman Park via video link.
Additional Sessions Judge Umeed Ali Baloch heard the case. Asif and Khan’s lawyer were present in the court during the hearing.
The defence minister’s lawyer — Barrister Haider Rasul — cross-examined Khan, asking the PTI chief questions about the investment in a private housing project with SKMT funds.
The PTI chief admitted investing the funds in the project, saying that the SKMT board had told him about the investment. However, he said he cannot remember the name of the project now.
The lawyer asked whether he was informed by the board in writing. At this, Khan responded by saying that he cannot remember it whether it was conveyed verbally or in writing.
The deposed prime minister said that $3 million were deposited back by the board members and the matter had closed.
However, Asif’s lawyer said that the matter did not end there but rather it was only getting started.
“When the amount was invested, the dollar rate was Rs60 and when the amount was returned, the rate had reached Rs120,” he contended.
Khan said that if the lawyer came straight to the point rather than asking “useless questions”, then the matter could be resolved quickly.
Asif’s lawyer said he can complete the cross-examination in just two hours during the next hearing.
The former prime minister said that he will inform the court about his availability for the next hearing after looking at his schedule.
Later, the court adjourned the case till further hearing.
On the other hand, the PTI chairman has started consultations for the distribution of party tickets for contesting the general elections of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.
In this regard, former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser met Khan at Zaman Park and discussed the post-dissolution situation of provincial assemblies and the action plan for the distribution of tickets.
Directing the PTI provincial organisations to go for shortlisting the candidates, Khan said: “I will decide the tickets for the upcoming elections myself, tickets will be given only to those workers who are sincere with PTI, and there will be no compromise on merit.”