ISLAMABAD, Jan 02 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Saturday said leader Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Asif has failed to prove his legitimate source of income and satisfy the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Talking to media flanked by SAPM (Special Assistant to Prime Minister) on Youth Affairs Usman Dar regarding the arrest of Khawaja Asif, he said the theme of looting by Khawaja Asif was same as already adopted by Ishaq Dar and Shahbaz Sharif.
He said the assets of former federal minister Khawaja Asif multiplied in various cities of the country especially during his stint as minister in PML-N’s tenure. In 1993, Khawaja had only Rs 5.1 million assets that too was in shape of his inherited house.
The declared assets of Khawaja Asif touched Rs 118 million mark in the 2013 but on query he failed to explain any legitimate reason of the increase in assets.
Khawaja Asif had been receiving 2.2 million rupees per month salary from a Dubai firm during his stint a minister in Pakistan from 2013-18. He claimed receiving a sum of Rs 140 million in five years as salary in cash.
Khawaja was perhaps world’s only employee who received millions in cash as salary.
Later Khawaja transferred that amount from his Dubai account to Pakistan through Telegraphic Transfer (TT). Obviously which was not a legitimate source.
Furthermore the salary payment to Khawaja Asif was stopped with the completion of the five years term of (PML-N) Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz. Khawaja Asif purchased a Rs 80 million plot in Gujranwala September 2014 and sold to same party after few months to Rs 40 million.
Khwaja Asif also claimed selling a plot adjacent to his home in Sialkot at Rs 125 million, he said adding, the cheque of the sale agreement was showing Nov 28,2018 as date of payment.
After investigation it was transpired that the same bank was bogus as the same cheque was issued by the relevant bank three months after the sale deed. Interestingly the sale plot was still in custody of Khawaja Asif.
Another Rs 150 million transaction of rice export was proved bogus. Khawaja failed to explain the source of that transaction.
No source was explained of the transactions of Rs 507 million from the year 2009 to 2018, he said adding that proving corruption was difficult in the absence of documented economy.
Shahzad Akbar said under the law, unexplained wealth of a public office holder was perceived to be corruption. Responding to a question, he lauded the performance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for making record recoveries as comparing to recoveries made during PML-N regime by same NAB.
To another question, he said an inquiry committee headed by Senior Superintendent of Police has been constituted to probe Islamabad incident in which the police allegedly killed a student the other day. Judicial inquiry of same case could also be conducted if required.
He said he has recommended legislation for improving performance of Islamabad police.
Dispelling the impression that the government was committing political victimization of its opponents, Usman Dar said the investigation, carried out by the departments concerned including National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency, had completely exposed the corruption of Khawaja Asif.
He said if that was the political victimization then it could have done some two and half years ago when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power. “Political victimization did not take two and half years,” he added.
The SAPM hoped that investigation of the concerned agencies would surely bring more evidences before the nation about the corruption, committed by Khawaja Asif.
Recalling his legal conflict against Khawaja Asif, Usman Dar said he had moved to the Election Commission of Pakistan against him and submitted a copy of his contract with a United Arab Emirates-based private company to the Islamabad High Court that led to his disqualification.
However, the PML-N leader got relief from the apex court due to various reasons, he added. Usman Dar said there would be no such example in the world that a defence minister of a country had a contract with a foreign company and drawing 50,000 dirham salary per month. This could only happen in Pakistan where people like Khwaja Asif considered themselves above the law.
Referring to the senior PML-N leadership, he said all of them including Shehbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif had followed the same model, adopted in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case to commit corruption.
The country’s institutions were weakened when its prime minister and ministers committed corruption, he remarked while pointing out massive corruption during the PML-N regime.
He asked Khawaja Asif to fight his case in the court and produce evidence instead of questioning the fair accountability process, being carried out in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Usman Dar reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance that the corrupt leaders would not get NRO-like concession under his rule. He said opposition only wanted to evade the accountability process as it did during the FATF legislation by proposing amendments in the NAB ordinance.
The SAPM said the opposition would never succeed in misleading the nation with their lies.
He said the nation had seen Ishaq Dar interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s anchor in which he failed to produce any concrete evidence to justify his claims.