Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has accused former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi of accepting billions in cash and hundreds of kanals of land from Bahria Town in return for favours in a money laundering case during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.
While addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Bahria Town had “illegally transferred” Rs50bn to a Pakistani national in the United Kingdom. The UK’s National Crime Agency had identified the crime, and had informed the PTI government of the crime.
The interior minister claimed that the then prime minister Imran Khan had told Shehzad Akbar, former aide to the prime minister on accountability, to resolve the issue.
Sanaullah said that Akbar settled the entire case and the Rs50 billion that was state property was adjusted against Bahria Town’s liability.
Moreover, the interior minister alleged, the former prime minister took Rs5bn as “his share” through Akbar before the case was brought to a conclusion.
The interior minister said that a sub-committee had been formed by the federal cabinet to investigate the matter.
The interior minister said that after Bahria Town’s Rs50bn was protected by the government, Bahria Town entered an agreement and gave a 458-kanal land with an on-paper value of Rs530 million to a trust owned by Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi.
The land was donated to Al-Qadir Trust, and the agreement bore signatures of the real estate’s donors and Bushra Khan [Bushra Bibi].
He said that Al-Qadir Trust only had two trustees, Imran Khan and his wife.
The minister also stated that an additional 240 kanals was transferred to Farah Shehzadi, close friend of Bushra Bibi and commonly known as Farah.
The interior minister said that PTI leaders created the perception that the land was for the construction of a university but no charter was approved by the Punjab Assembly.
Sanaullah said that the cabinet had made the document public and an inquiry would be conducted.
Background of the case
In December 2019, the UK’s NCA had agreed to a £190 million settlement with the family of real estate magnate and founder of Bahria Town.
According to the NCA, it had accepted the offer after an investigation into property and accounts associated with the family of Malik Riaz.
The probe came to be known in December 2018, after the PTI government came to power. The NCA stated in August 2019 that it had been granted freezing order on eight bank accounts which held more than £100 million, suspected to have been gotten through bribery and corruption in an overseas nation.
In March 2019, a Supreme Court bench led by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had accepted an offer of Rs460 billion from Bahria Town for implementation of the court’s judgment which observed that the grant of land by the Sindh government to the Malir Development Authority, and its exchange with a private developer, and anything carried out under the Colonisation of Government Land Act, 1912 by Sindh government was illegal.