ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court justices were incensed when they were informed that Harris Afzal, son of the principal defaulter of the Bank of Punjab loan scam, Harris Steel Mill’s owner Sheikh Afzal, secretly tried to sell off his assets despite his commitment to repay the Rs9 billion debt.
Advocate General Punjab Khwaja Harris informed a three-member bench of the apex court that despite the fact Harris Afzal had agreed to sell his property to repay the loan, he was not cooperating with the salvation committee scrutinising his assets. Justice (retd) Jamshed Ali Shah, head of the salvation committee, had twice requested Harris to cooperate but he did not respond. “Due to his non-cooperative attitude, Justice Shah is considering dissociating himself from the commission.” The advocate general said Harris tried to sell his assets to foreign entities but he was caught red-handed when he sent documents for verification to the Foreign Office which forwarded them to the National Accountability Bureau.
Justice Jawad S Khwaja observed that it was sheer violation of the court’s orders. Ahmed Awais, counsel for Harris Afzal, submitted that Harris had refused to write a letter in reply to a question, but he would submit a reply before the next hearing. The advocate general requested the bench to issue orders for his arrest or allow the committee to continue its work in his absence. The court adjourned the hearing till August 16 after the counsel gave the assurance that Harris Afzal would cooperate with the commission.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.