September 24, 2023

Broadsheet revelations proved Nawaz lied to Parliament, SC and nation: Umar

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Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Tuesday said that with Broadsheet award details made public it was conclusively established that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had lied to the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the nation.

The federal minister’s remarks came in a tweet a day after the government made public the judgments against Pakistan in the Broadsheet case and revealed that the major portion of the money was paid to the asset recovery firm in connection with the foreign assets of the Sharif family.

“With the broadsheet award details now public in which it is stated clearly by the arbitrator that Sharif family owned the Avenfield apartments as far back as 2000,” Umar tweeted.

On January 18, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said the government was making public two judgments – the judgment for the liability award in 2016 and the judgment for the quantum award in 2018.

“The first confirmed that Pakistan was liable to pay the Broadsheet and the second determined the actual amount of the liability to be paid.”

The adviser said the government had contacted the Broadsheet’s lawyers to gain their written consent on making these documents public and they had “no reservations” over the move.

According to Akbar, $21.5 million paid to the Broadsheet represented the “cost of past NROs [National Reconciliation Ordinance] and deals you [the nation] have had to bear”.

He said out of the $21.5m paid to broadsheet, $20.5m was paid because of the Sharif family. $1.5m was paid for the Avenfield apartments and $19m for other assets of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan made a committee comprising three federal ministers – Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari and Shibli Faraz –to review the agreement with the Broadsheet from 2002 to 2018.

The prime minister was chairing a meeting in which Shahzad Akbar gave a briefing on the Broadsheet case. PM Imran later directed him that the facts contained in the verdict of the Broadsheet case should be brought to light and put before the public.

“Broadsheet investigated illegal assets made 20 years ago. The assets [made by corrupt politicians] in the last ten years are yet to be accounted for,” the premier was quoted as saying.

The Broadsheet had helped General Pervez Musharraf’s government and the newly established National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to track down foreign assets purchased by Pakistanis through allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

After NAB terminated the contract in 2003, Broadsheet and another company involved as a third party filed for damages. It claimed that Pakistan owed them money according to the terms agreed upon since the government was taking action to confiscate some of the assets they had identified, including the Avenfield property owned by the Sharif family.

The companies’ claims against Pakistan were held valid by an arbitration court and later by a United Kingdom high court that gave an award of over $28 million against Pakistan last year.

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