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PTI’s Zulfi Bukhari appears before NAB in Bahria Town case

PTI’s Zulfi Bukhari appears before NAB in Bahria Town case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Zulfi Bukhari appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday in connection with an inquiry pertaining to a settlement between the PTI government and property tycoon Malik Riaz, which reportedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the exchequer.

According to the NAB, Mr Bukhari was first summoned on Nov 29, but he requested the bureau to reschedule his meeting with NAB officials.

He was then asked to visit NAB Rawalpindi’s regional headquarters on Dec 15, but he did not respond. Consequently, NAB issued a final notice with a warning that action could be taken against him if he skipped the meeting on Monday.

The suspects in the case, including former prime minister Imran Khan and former first lady Bushra Bibi, were accused of adjusting Rs50 billion — 190 million pounds at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency to the Pakistan government.

The federal cabinet at the time had deposited this money as a liability of Malik Riaz set by the Supreme Court in the Bahria Town Karachi case.

They were also accused of getting undue benefit from Malik Riaz as they allegedly obtained over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, where they were establishing Al Qadir University.

The federal cabinet has already formed a committee to ascertain the alleged involvement of Imran Khan and his wife in obtaining billions of rupees from Bahria Town for legalising Rs50 billion laundered money that was caught by the British authorities and repatriated to the federal government led by PTI.

The former overseas assistant was also asked about his involvement in the transfer of land from Bahria Town to Al Qadir University.

“The NAB’s inquiry into the allegations of misuse of authority, financial gains and criminal breach of trust has revealed you have entered into a registered transfer deed dated 22.01.2021, as the transferor, for transfer of 458 Kanals, four Marlas 58 sq.ft land situated at Mouza Bakrala, Tehsil Sohawa, District Jhelum, donated by M/s Bahria Town from your name to Al Qadir University Project Trust through Mr Talib Hussain. Therefore, you are in possession of information/evidence whatsoever, which relates to the commission of the said offence(s),” the NAB letter sent to Mr Bukhari said.

It may be mentioned here that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had accused former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi of accepting Rs5 billion and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town “for protecting the real estate firm in the money laundering case”.

He had also claimed that Imran’s aide Shehzad Akbar had “settled” the entire case, while the Rs50 billion, which belonged to the national treasury, was adjusted against Bahria Town’s liability.

He said Imran had received a bribe of Rs5bn as “his share” through Mr Akbar before the case was wrapped up.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2023

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