Reacting to some reports challenging the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) jurisdiction to initiate an inquiry against Farah Khan, a close friend of former first lady Bushra Bibi, the bureau said it had lawful jurisdiction to initiate the inquiry.
In a statement, a NAB spokesperson said that the lawful jurisdiction of the bureau empowered it to initiate an inquiry/investigation against any former public office holder or his family members for accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.
The anti-graft body said, “The spouse of Farah Khan named Ahsan Jameel Gujjar remained chairman, District Council, Gujranwala, between 1997 and 1999.”
The spokesperson said that National Accountability Ordinance (NAO-1999) and Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA-2010) sanctioned the bureau to hold cognisable the conduct of Farah Khan being the spouse of a former public office holder under the law.
“The NAB Lahore will conduct an inquiry in a fair and transparent manner strictly in accordance with the law,” he added.
Earlier in the day, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had said that the case against Farah Khan was “totally wrong”. He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday.
Imran said, “She (Farah) has been in the real estate business for 20 years.”
He said his former wife Jemima Goldsmith had been booked in a case related to the smuggling of antique tiles as well, pointing out that his wife Bushra Bibi did not have any bank account.
He said the cases were aimed at attacking him, saying that “Farah is innocent”.
He went on to say, “It was implied Farah’s riches exponentially grew during three years […] real estate business has generated a lot of money during the last three years.”
Imran questioned, “They say that the National Accountability Bureau is independent. First of all, I ask NAB if a case can even be built against Farah Khan or not?”
He said the term “wealth beyond known sources of income” applies to public office holders only.
He said the thing on which the built the case was that Farah’s husband was an official of a union council from 1997 to 1999.
“She wasn’t even married to him at that time. How did they book her in the case?” he asked.