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Crime proceeds remitted by UK’s NCA: Govt to probe predecessor’s disbursement of 150m

NA told no load-shedding at feeders with less losses

Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday announced on the floor of National Assembly that the government would investigate the disbursement of £140-50 million remitted by the Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) as recovery in a money laundering case, during the tenure of previous regime.

Speaking on a point of order, he said, following the fine/recovery in the money laundering case, the UK government had banned entry of the accused for 10 years and cancelled their visas. “It was public money in my view… it was a fine amount but adjusted in an account… the Cabinet Division’s record says that its details have not been shared. A sealed letter was shown in a meeting of the federal cabinet [previous government’s] for its approval that was not even on the agenda,” he said.

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Khawaja Asif said the incumbent government would unfold the details of the sealed letter.

The minister said it was around Rs 45 billion that was ‘facilitated,’ adding it was an unexplained wealth that had been deposited in the national exchequer. The remitted amount, he said, was adjusted in the National Bank of Pakistan’s branch located at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was returned to the government of Pakistan for social welfare services, but Imran Khan’s cabinet decided to settle it against the liabilities of Bahria Town in the Supreme Court. “It was done without any agenda or summary in the cabinet.”

He said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had shown this amount in its recovery, adding the watchdog only recovered illegal money. “The recovered money is meant to be deposited in the national exchequer, not in their [accused] accounts. In return, Khawaja Asif said they (Bahria Town administration) obliged the Imran Khan government by donating Rs 500 million for the Al-Qadir University that did not even exist; besides allocating a piece of 450 kanals land near Sohawa.

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Moreover, he said, the Bahria Town group gave 200 kanals of land to Farah Shahzadi, a family friend of Imran Khan. “Right now, there is no record of all these transactions anywhere, including Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance, Law and Justice, State Bank of Pakistan, Attorney General Office and Cabinet Division,” he said, declaring it a ‘fraud’ plotted by the former prime minister.

“Now, we are investigating it … I have all the details and will present them in the National Assembly. We are taking up the issue with the British government, asking it to declare who is the beneficiary of the remitted amount,” he said. Khawaja Asif claimed dozen of such crimes were committed by the former prime minister and his allies in different sectors like medicines, sugar, wheat, port and shipping.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan on Monday informed the National Assembly that no load-shedding is being carried out across the country at feeders with less losses. Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Aliya Kamran (MMAP), Syed Mehmood Shah (MMAP), Kamal Uddin, and Mahreen (MMAP) Razzaq Bhutto (PPPP) regarding unannounced electricity load-shedding in rural as well as urban areas of Balochistan, the minister said that there has been no load-shedding at 76 feeders of Balochistan. He said the far-flung areas of Balochistan would be provided electricity through an “off-grid solution”. It is a solar solution that requires a system of batteries to work, he added. Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel on Monday informed the National Assembly that no hospital/centers have been established for angiography/angioplasty and heart surgeries during the last three years.

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