Says Swiss account cases against Zardari might be reopened
The federal government has decided to take action on the report of the Broadsheet inquiry commission, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced Thursday.
The report was presented in a federal cabinet meeting today. The government will take action against Ahmer Bilal Sufi and four other individuals, Chaudhry told reporters in Islamabad.
The Broadsheet commission named Sufi, Hassan Saqib, Ghulam Rasool, Abdul Basit and Shahid Ali Baig in its report, he said.
NAB proceedings were not transparent from 2011 to 2017, according to the minister. The anti-corruption watchdog kept saying that it didn’t have the record pertaining Swiss bank account cases against Asif Ali Zardari.
The cabinet decided to pin responsibility on former NAB chairman Qamar Zaman and other high-raking officials, he added.
UK-based firm Broadsheet LLC was hired in 2000 by General Pervez Musharraf’s government to recover assets stolen by the past Pakistani governments. The contract expired in 2003 and the firm alleged it was not paid. It sued Pakistan in the London Court of International Arbitration in 2016 and won an award of $21 million in 2019.
Islamabad appealed the decision in the London High Court and the award was increased to $33 million. UK authorities recently seized $28.7 million from the Pakistan High Commission’s account and the rest remains payable.
The Broadsheet commission, headed by Justice (retired) Azmat Saeed, issued its report last month. The record of $1.5 million paid to Broadsheet LLC remains missing, it said.
The report said that $1.5 million were paid to the wrong entity in 2008. Giving the funds to someone is not a mistake—it is akin to betraying Pakistan, it said.
According to the report, the record file has gone missing from the finance and law ministries, Attorney-General Office, and Pakistan High Commission in the UK.
NAB records show that the payment was made but there is no other proof of it.