Shehbaz tried to escape accountability process: PM’s aide

Akbar says PML-N chief should have presented proof of innocence instead of pleading for next hearing date


APP October 19, 2021
Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar. PHOTO: PID/FILE

LAHORE:

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar on Monday said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif had tried to escape the accountability process as during his appearance in an accountability court pertaining to the Telegraphic Transfers (TT), assets beyond known sources of income and money laundering case, he pleaded for the next hearing date to attend the National Assembly session.

Addressing a news conference at 90 Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Akbar said if Shehbaz was cleared of money-laundering charges from a London court, he should have presented the evidences which became the base of his alleged clearance in the money-laundering allegations by the London court, during his appearance in the accountability court on Monday.

He said the PML-N president and his accomplices tried to distort the facts and figures to befool the masses by projecting a narrative that the London court had acquitted Shehbaz of money-laundering charges, adding that Shehbaz was using delaying tactics to flee the accountability process.

Akbar said that the case in which Shehbaz appeared before an accountability court related to assets beyond known sources of income was initiated in 1990 when he became a public office holder, adding that his declared assets in 1990 were of Rs2.1 million, Rs14.8 million in 1998 and he and his family's declared assets were of Rs21 million in 2003. Hamza Shehbaz had declared the Shehbaz's Sharif family’s assets as Rs34.4 million in 2005 in which he mentioned the TTs for the first time, he added.

The adviser said that assets of Shehbaz’s family were significantly increased by Rs660 million as the source of income for declared assets was Rs77 million which was 11 per cent of the total income, whereas the remaining 89 per cent income came from TTs, which were presented by exchange companies, not banks through forged documents which also had been proved in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigation.

Read PM’s adviser approached NCA against me: Shehbaz

Akbar said that Shehbaz had started a few companies, purchased two houses at a cost of Rs115 million; one in Murree and the other in DHA besides clearing tax payments of a land cruiser through forged or fake TTs as a source of income. Suleman and Hamza had accepted in written that "Manzoor Paparwala" was their real investor who invested in their businesses from London, he maintained.

The adviser said that TTs of Rs181 million were directly transferred to the personal account of Hamza while Suleman received TTs of Rs3 billion in which he had shown that he received TTs of Rs1.5 billion as loan from Mushtaq alias "Chini", adding that "Chini" had also confessed money laundering for Hamza and Suleman.

To a question, Akbar said that the cases like Shehbaz’s family case were a challenge to the judiciary as every institution including parliament, government and judiciary should have to play their role to ensure transparency and accountability.

He said that as per the new NAB law, the accountability cases should be concluded within six months.

To another query, he said that courts should ensure case management besides adopting latest methods of recording testimonies and evidences so that the cases could be concluded in time.

He said the Sharif family could not befool the people as the masses had been aware of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz’s corruption.

The adviser said that accountability institutions including NAB and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were putting in efforts to finalise the investigation into the corruption charges so that the accused could meet their logical end, adding that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) believed in accountability for all and similar standards for all in the criminal justice system.

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