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Country heading in right direction as PM Imran Khan, Chairman NAB firmly take on corrupt elite

Country heading in right direction as PM Imran Khan, Chairman NAB firmly take on corrupt elite

Under dynamic leadership of Justice Javed Iqbal, NAB ready to file 16 references against corrupt politicians, businessmen


ISLAMABAD: Under dynamic leadership of Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has actively pursued mega corruption cases in an attempt to eradicate this menace from the country. The Bureau has decided to file 16 references against the accused in mega money laundering and fake accounts cases. Customs Today has received all the details about the accused in these cases.

In money laundering or fake accounts cases, the NAB is going to file references or already filed references against accused including PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, former CEO of Sindh Bank Bilal Sheikh, Anwer Majid of Omni Group, Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz and his son-in-law Zain Malik, other frontmen of Zardari Manzoor Qadir Kaka, Younas Kidwai and Doctor Dinshaw, etc.

There was zero chance of sending the high-level accused including Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Yousaf Raza Gillani or Raja Pervaiz Ashraf behind the bard during the tenure of hand-picked Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, the then chairman of the NAB.

This is the real change about which Prime Minister Imran Khan talks about again and again and says ‘Tabdeeli Aa Nahi Rahi, Tabdeeli Aa Gai Hai’. And all this is just possible due to an independent judiciary, an honest and patriotic Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and a brave and honest person like Justice Javed Iqbal, NAB chairman, who has become a nightmare for the corrupt elite. Due to these patriotic leaders, Pakistan is heading towards the right direction.

In a major development the NAB arrested senior PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah in a case regarding his alleged assets beyond means. The PPP stalwart was arrested in a joint operation by NAB’s Rawalpindi and Sukkur chapters. Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police during a raid at his Islamabad residence. Multiple corruption cases against Shah are under investigation with NAB. In 2012, an accountability court had directed NAB to file a reference against him on a complaint pertaining to alleged accumulation of illegitimate assets. In 2013, NAB had reopened two corruption cases against Shah under the directives of the Lahore High Court. In July this year, NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal had approved nine inquiries against different personalities, including Shah.

Khursheed Shah was elected to the Sindh Assembly in 1988 during which he was made a provincial minister holding a wide range of portfolios – education, import and transport being some of them. He made his way to the parliament in 1990. Shah also served as a federal minister for education in 1993, during slain PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto’s second government. In 2008, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur cum Shikarpur-II), PPP and became minister for labour and human resources. He was made the federal minister for religious affairs in 2010. In 2013, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-II), PPP and became the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. He was elected to the National Assembly once again in 2018, as he won NA-206 (Sukkur-1) and was the opposition’s joint nominee for speaker’s position. Shah enjoys an influential position in the PPP and was its chief whip in the 2008-2013 National Assembly.

The NAB already filed a corruption reference in the fake accounts case against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai and Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza who are among those being investigated in the fake accounts case. According to the reference, creation of Summit Bank and its extension was illegal while it was established under the patronage and continuation of criminal activities. The anti-graft watchdog has named at least 13 people as suspects in the reference including Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed. The reference accuses them of getting 53 billion rupees loan from National Bank, Sindh Bank and Summit Bank using undue influence of Asif Ali Zardari and using fake bank guarantees or fake collateral.

Third reference is filed against Sindh government for selling Thatta Sugar Mills and Dadu Sugar Mills at minimal or throw-away price to the Omni Group, and inflicting huge loss on the national exchequer. The NAB also filed Park Lane properties reference against former president and PPPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. The NAB chief consented to file the reference against the PPP co-chairman who incurred the loss of Rs 3.77 billion to the national exchequer. A loan worth Rs 1.5 billion was taken out from a bank and transferred to the company account in a private bank. He forged documents to comply with the loan policy and coaxed the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) into loan approval. Another case was suggested to be launched against Asif Zardari for importing undeclared bullet-proof vehicles and paying through fake accounts of a deceased person. He imported these vehicles during his tenure as President of Pakistan and these vehicles are still on the name of Zardari.

In fourth reference against Asif Ali Zardari, he is accused of receiving Rs8.3 billion kickbacks from a mega construction firm of Bahria Town through the joint account of his frontman Mushtaq Ahmad while Asif Zardari received 50% shares in Bahria Icon Tower as kickbacks through his another frontman Doctor Dinshaw. Value of these shares is estimated to be Rs 30 billion, and in return Bahria Town was given huge benefits by allotting his Sindh government’s land and other resources.

It is worthy to mention that four out of sixteen references are going to be filed against Asif Ali Zardari. NAB is also investigating sanction of Rs 24.93 billion loan to Omni Group violating the set rules by CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah and former CEO Sindh Bank Bilal Sheikh. NAB officials claim that they will file references against these accused as soon as possible and arrest of CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah is also expected in this case.

Reference would be filed against the same two accused separately for alleged misappropriation of Rs7.19 billion through the Sindh government’s tailor subsidies to Omni Group. The bureau will also probe Rs1.22 billion kickback allegations against Faryal Talpur through a dedicated investigation team.

Younas Kidwai, the alleged frontman of Zardari, illegally obtained expensive amenity plots of library, mandir and gymnasium in Clifton, Karachi. NAB sources confirm that references will be filed soon against Sindh government and Younas Kidwai. Younas Kidwai is brother of Zardari’s friend Iqbal Memon and is popular with name of Younas System in Sindh. He fled to Canada to avoid arrest in corruption cases. NAB is suggested to file another reference against Younas Kidwai for illegal acquisition of private lands. Sources said the NAB would file reference against Manzoor Qadir Kaka and others for misappropriation of 362 acres of Pakistan Steel Mill Land.

NAB is referred to file another reference against Sindh government for Rs1.32 billion kickbacks deposited by government contractors into fake accounts and violated Sindh-PPRA rules in award of various contracts. 16th reference would be filed against Sindh government’s Energy Department for illegal Hundi transactions through M/S Orient Energy and M/s Technomen Kinetics, partners of government of Sindh.

It is worthy to mention that the bureau has created 16 larger categories (based on an earlier report by a Joint Investigation Team) under which these cases are being investigated by different NAB teams and references would be filed against the accused. Earlier NAB filed four references against Sharif family in the Panama case.

It is to be noted here that very weak references were filed against Sharif family by the then NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry and later on the Supreme Court remarked about those references saying that today the NAB is totally buried. But now the situation is different because these sixteen references would be prepared and filed under dynamic leadership of NAB chairman Justice Javed Iqbal and it would be difficult for the accused persons to get safe passage. Its open proof is that one President of Pakistan is behind the bars and other one is to be shifted there soon while two former prime ministers are also in the jail and two others are ready to go to jail. Similarly one former chief minister just came out of jail while three chief ministers including CM Sindh, CM KPK and former CM KPK or current Minister of Defence are expected to be put behind the bars soon. Speaker Sindh Assembly, former President’s sister, former Prime Minister’s daughter and former CM Punjab’s son and opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz have been arrested while current opposition leader of the National Assembly or former CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif is expected to be sent again to the jail. Similarly PPP senior leader Khursheed Shah has also been arrested from Islamabad. A former principal secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad is also in jail while current principal secretary to prime minister Azam Khan and former principal secretary to prime minister Saeed Mehdi are also expected to be arrested soon.