ISLAMABAD - Perturbed over the ‘irresponsible behaviour of head of PTI Women Wing’, the elected board members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Canada, have threatened not only to boycott but also to disrupt Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s scheduled fundraising visit to Toronto.

The continuing tug-of-war between elected members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Canada chapter and Fauzia Kasuri - head of PTI Women Wing - ahead of the visit has triggered a controversy that could mar the event.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan to leave for a brief visit to several countries including Canada on October 23.

The visit is aimed to raise funds for Shoukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Namal University, PTI and IKF.

Fauzia Kasuri being a member of the committee, mandated by PTI Chairman to oversee the fundraising activities of the party, has been assigned to organize the upcoming visit of Imran Khan.

It all started when Ms Kasuri gave mandate of organising fundraising function in Toronto to an ‘unauthorised’ person namely Shabir Chaudhry - a former coordinator of PTI Canada.

The matter of fact is that Shabir Chaudhry was removed from the office in March 2011 following a unanimous vote of no confidence by all the coordinators of PTI Canada as reaction to his attitude towards other elected members and the undemocratic way party matters were being handled at time when he was holding office.

Elected members of PTI Canada are annoyed over the situation on the pretext that any fundraising event abroad is the subject of PTI’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), whose office bearers than needed to communicate with the elected and legal officials of PTI Chapters abroad to conduct fundraising events.

According to them, Ms Kasuri “deliberately” violated the defined rules and procedure and bypassed OIA and elected and legal set up in this regard and announced a person - Mr Chaudhry - as organizer of the event in Toronto who has nothing to do with the party.

After the removal of Shabir Chaudhry PTI Canada was registered as legal entity with the Canadian government headed by democratically elected board of directors.

According to a member coordinator Canada, fundraising activities in Canada can only be done under a legal umbrella, which is PTI Canada Incorporation in this particular case. The Directors of PTI Canada Incorporation are directly answerable to the Revenue Office Canada for any funds raised from the masses.

He said Ms Kasuri’s individual act had posed serious threat, which could result in dire consequences including (1) Any official from Revenue Canada can come to the event and ask the legal authority of raising the funds. (2) Government of Canada can seize the fund raising event, as it is not done under any legal umbrella. (3) Government of Canada can blame PTI Canada Inc., of not following the rules and can shut down the corporation’s right of collecting money from its members. (4) Board of Directors of PTI Canada can be charged of not monitoring the event and could go to jail.

(5) Event is held without raising the funds, which is of no value to PTI.

He said for aforementioned reasons elected Board Members of PTI Canada would not allow this event to happen in a bid to save PTI in Canada and themselves.

Members PTI Canada have also sent an e-mail to Chairman PTI Imran Khan in this regard, which reads, “Fauzia Kasuri’s way of handling your (IK) fundraising visit to Canada is totally unacceptable and will be opposed every step of the way. According to your vision (which energize us) our institutions are more important to us than Fauzia Kasuri. She must be stopped to play negative role in PTI Canada ranks, otherwise consequences will be enormous and beyond anybody’s control. A very humble question though: what is the role of our Office of International Affairs?”

Another Board Member of PTI Canada wrote, “Fauzia Kasuri is covertly demolishing the discipline of the party in Canada. If procedures cannot be enforced within PTI ranks than how could PTI hold 180 million people (Pakistanis) accountable?

Fauzia Kasuri must be immediately admonished and rebuked for violating Canadian Law, PTI Canada By-laws and bypassing the Office of International Affairs.”

The centre of criticism in this whole saga, Fauzia Kasuri is of the view, “It has been decided and approved by the Chairman PTI that fund raising activities of PTI, any where in the world, will only be undertaken by the FR committee, headed by Imran Khan, and that it does not necessarily have to be done through the elected chapters or the Boards of PTI, or the Office of International Affairs.

In an e-mail she wrote in response to that criticism states, “I am a member of this FR committee and the Chairman asked me to organize his tour aimed to raise funds I do happen to know Shabbir Chaudary as he has helped us in the past with fund raising for SKMT, Namal University, PTI and IKF.... therefore, I approached him. Its not like he is a friend or a relative or some favoritism was being done.” However, Coordinators PTI Canada are of the view that PTI Canada Incorporation is registered under Canadian laws and Fauzia Kasuri, Imran Khan etc are legally bound to observe Canadian byelaws if they wanted to hold any activity in Canada.