Health activists in Pakistan are outraged after Imran Khan met with a top-ranking official from British American Tobacco and accepted a donation cheque for construction of dams in the country.
While Imran Khan has been knocking on every possible door to ensure funds for dams in a country that stares at a massive water crisis, his decision to accept a cheque for Pakistani Rs 5 million from British American Tobacco has led to a massive outburst. Health activists say that accepting a cheque from the international tobacco company is in violation of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. According to this, government representatives cannot meet and receive funds from tobacco companies even under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Pakistan-based Dawn contacted several anti-tobacco organisations in the country and representative of all echoed similar views. "It is strange that the amount has been given just a month before the announcement of the federal budget," said Malik Imran of Tobacco-Free Kids. A representative of Coalition for Tobacco Control Pakistan also said that it was strange to see a former sportsperson accept donation from a company which manufactures cancer-causing products.
There were angry outbursts on Twitter as well with many saying that Imran Khan is trying to bring water by indirectly propagating tobacco-products.