The Supreme Court has directed principal defaulters of the Bank of Punjab (BoP) Sheik Afzal and his family to cooperate with the loan recovery committee to ensure the return of the national wealth.
Counsel for Harris Afzal, Khawaja Tariq Rahim, assured a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ghulam Rabbani his client Sheikh Afzal and his family were willing to pay their debt.
The bench directed the committee to impartially continue its work till the settlement of all the bank’s liabilities. During the course of hearing, counsel for BoP, Khwaja Harris contended that they owed the bank Rs8.43 billion whereas their assets were valued at Rs5.58 billion.
Rahim pleaded that if steps are taken to recover the outstanding amount, his clients would arrange the rest of the money from other sources. He also assured the bank that Sheikh Afzal and his family would cooperate with the committee.
Khwaja Harris informed the bench that since Harris Afzal had failed to appear before the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and give his consent, his family’s property in DHA could not be sold. The bench directed Harris Afzal to cooperate with the committee and appear before the DHA.
The bench also directed Rahim to send Justice (retd) Jamshaid a written apology on behalf of Harris Afzal for levelling baseless charges against him and using unceremonious language and submit a copy of the letter to the court.
The Bank of Punjab has been ordered to nominate its representative for the committee, while Rahim informed the bench that Harris Afzal would represent Sheikh Afzal and his family. The court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.