Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz speaks to the media. File photo
The federal cabinet has formed an inquiry committee to be headed by a former judge with the task to investigate in 45 days the fresh revelations in a verdict of a British court in the UK-based asset recovery firm Broadsheet LLC case and fix the responsibility on those Pakistanis who, according to the firm, had illegally benefited themselves and laundered money to off-shore banks.
"The committee would comprise one representative each of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Attorney General for Pakistan, besides a senior advocate to be nominated by the prime minister, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz told reporters.
The cabinet formed the committee on recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee that had been earlier constituted by the prime minister to look into the Broadsheet saga.
"The Broadsheet verdict was based on facts about the corruption stories of previous rulers. It contained the details of corruption of loot and plunder committed before 2000, but another inquiry was required to look into the wrongdoings done after 2000,” Faraz said.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif attends a meeting. File photo
He said the former rulers fully benefited from the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) concessions and again went on the looting spree of national wealth sans any remorse and shame. "The leaders of opposition parties, while in power, misappropriated the national exchequer time and again.”
To a question, the information minister said it was not the government that unearthed the hidden properties of the Sharif family but Broadsheet, an impartial asset recovery firm that had no grudge against the Sharifs.
He said the government was only interested in bringing back the looted and plundered money stashed abroad, and it would take action against the corrupt irrespective of their party affiliations. Surrey Palace, Swiss accounts, Omni case, fake bank accounts case, all were on the radar of the committee, he remarked.The ministerial committee observed that from the start of the agreements to the purported settlements in 2007-8, arbitration conducted especially between 2009 till 2018 (Liability Award & Quantum Award) and various deals made during this period for political exigencies that this matter requires detailed forensic probe by experts of the field. Therefore, the committee recommended to the prime minister to constitute an inquiry committee headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court or high court to examine the circumstances relating to the Broadsheet agreement and subsequent arbitration proceedings, which resulted in substantial loss to the national exchequer.
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