ISLAMABAD /LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab President Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday, pointing to media reports, said that role of intelligence agencies, including Intelligence Bureau (IB) in giving money to politicians could not be denied, and that Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik too had taken Rs500 millon. For his part, Malik directed his legal team to send notices to PML-N claiming damages worth Rs10 billion.
Shahbaz Sharif during a press conference on Wednesday said that he and party president Nawaz Sharif will take the legal action against main character in Mehrangate scam Younis Habib over claims of giving hefty amounts to the two brothers.
Making it clear that the conference was in his personal capacity, rather than as Punjab Chief Minister, he had invited the press to his private residence in Model Town. He lashed out President Asif Ali Zardari and blamed him for defaming the Sharif brothers over baseless allegations.
In response to question, Sharif said that the Intelligence Bureau too was also involved in the money distribution scams and said that if he were to be called in the Supreme Court, he would disclose the names of those who had taken money from IB. He said that he would submit all the information even the amounts taken, on oath if were told to do so.
Notices to Habib under the defamation act were being prepared, Sharif said, that these would be issued before moving to court.
“I’ll in the coming days divulge the perpetrators who are engaged in taking Habib to Supreme Court and asked him to nominate Sharifs in fake cases,” he said.
Sharif said that Habib had changed his stance four times while leveling allegations against him. He said that in Habib’s initial claim that he gave Rs2.5 million directly to Shahbaz Sharif. The second statement saw the former Mehran Bank chairman claim that money was given to to Asif Jamshed for delivering to Shahbaz Sharif. However, in documents submitted to the Supreme Court by Habib, there was no mention of Sharifs name.
He said that PPP government in 1994 made Asif Jamshed Managing Director of Punjab Bank and when he, Shahbaz came in power in 1997, he removed him from the job. The Punjab Chief Minister asked that if money had been issued for him through TT, then details of TT should have been presented.
Sharif alleged that both Habib and Jamshed were pawns of PPP and his message to their ‘guru’ is that Sharifs would continue to highlight the corruption of the Zardari and would continue to speak against NRO.
He said that names of Sharif’s family are being maligned just to get the political benefit. He said that PML-N has been calling for this issue to be taken up for the past two decades. Though the matter is sub-judice, however Sharif demanded that the Supreme Court to punish Habib over his role in distribution of billions of rupees among Zardari’s friends. He said that Nawaz Sharif even took out a rally and went to Razi Farm in DG Khan where he exposed the corruption of President Farooq Khan Leghari.
Asked about Sharif’s loan from Mehran Bank, he said that they only received Rs40.8 million in 1992 and in 15 years they returned with interest as much as Rs100 million to the bank. Sharif also provided supporting documents to the media.
Responding to a question, Shahbaz said that that there were lot of people to whom cheques had been issued but unfortunately their names had not been highlighted.
Malik to issue claim damages
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday directed his legal team to send a legal notice to the PML-N leadership,including Shahbaz Sharif, suing them for Rs10 billion for allegations in reference to misuse of IB secret fund. While Senator Mushahidullah too will be sending a similar notice of Rs2 billion, a spokesperson for the interior ministry said.
The spokesperson further said that the interior minister never withdrew any money from IB’s account as he is not authorised to do so.
He added that the administrative, financial and operational control does not come under the Ministry of Interior.
The allegation, the spokesperson said, was PML-N’s way of deflecting the nation’s attention from the Younis Habib case.