Pakistan: Anti-corruption watchdog to probe Imran Khan's cabinet ministers in Al-Qadir corruption case

NAB has sought details regarding vehicles bought and sold by former ministers

Imran Khan arrest (File) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (center) leaves after appearing in a court, in Lahore | AP

Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau has sought details of vehicles bought and sold by ministers of former PM Imran Khan's cabinet from the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department in relation to Al-Qadir corruption case. The agency has reportedly sought details of 22 former ministers.

In a letter sent to the Punjab Excise Department, NAB has sought details of vehicles under the names of former ministers.

According to Dawn, the anti-graft watchdog issued a letter to the provincial excise department, informing that NAB Rawalpindi was conducting an investigation against the 22 former cabinet members on the allegations of corruption under the provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

β€œIn view thereof, you are requested to provide the details/copies of certified documents of any vehicles' sales/purchase during the period of January 2018 till date in the name of the following persons by June 20," the letter said.

According to Dawn, the agency has sought details of former ministers Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari, Pervez Khattak, Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, Azam Khan Swati, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Babar Awan, Omar Ayub Khan, Shafqat Mahmood, Faisal Vawda, Murad Saeed, Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Khusro Bakhtiar, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Zubaida Jalal, Ijaz Ahmad Shah, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Muhammad Farogh Naseem, Muhammad Soomro and Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan.Β 

Some of the former cabinet members belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have quit the party after the May 9 violence. NAB spokesperson Kashif Zaman said the letter was issued a few days ago but did not specify the exact date.

On May 9, the bureau arrested PTI chief Khan over the alleged illegal acquisition of land and construction of Al-Qadir University and extending benefits to the real estate tycoon and Bahria Town owner, Malik Riaz, by legalising Rs 50 billion that was identified and returned by the UK during his government.

The arrest of Khan, 70, from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises in the case sparked countrywide protests, during which several public and private properties, including military installations, were attacked.

The NAB had already summoned Khan's wife, Bushra Bibi, "as a witness and not as an accused" on June 7. Khan also appeared before the investigation team at NAB's Rawalpindi office on May 23 where he was grilled for about four hours.

Many of the 22 cabinet members facing the investigation have also told NAB that an agreement between UK's National Crime Agency and the PTI government was presented before them in a sealed envelope during a cabinet meeting.

They claimed that the approval was given without seeing the contents of the document. Fawad Chaudhry, who was science and technology minister in 2019, told the NAB that he had not seen an agreement presented before the cabinet in a sealed envelope.

Similarly, Sheikh Rashid, the Awami Muslim League chief and an ally of the PTI in government, said he had not attended that cabinet meeting, where the settlement with the National Command Authority was approved.

Moreover, former federal minister Faisal Vawda even claimed that ex-ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was the architect and the mastermind of the case, according to the Dawn report.

(With PTI inputs.)


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