Fawad Chaudhry refutes claims
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has said that Lahore NAB Director General Shahzad Saleem visited London and met officials of the National Crime Agency to “imply” that the Sharif family has been involved in the corruption.
“On December 9, 2019, an NCA official met Saleem who was visiting London,” Shehbaz said in a press conference in Lahore. “Saleem gave him the background of the investigation against the Sharif family.”
On December 11, 2019, the Asset Recovery Unit sent a letter to UK’s NCA to probe into the accounts of Shehbaz Sharif and Soleiman Shehbaz.
“The NCA’s investigation report found no evidence of money laundering or criminal activities against me or Suleman,” he said. PTI ministers have been leveling corruption allegations worth millions of rupees against the Sharif family but have failed to prove anything.
"We have never seen such liars in the history of Pakistan."
"I have gone to jail twice during the last three months and I will, indeed, be imprisoned again on orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan," the PML-N president said, adding that the UK wants to end investigations against him but the FIA is working on the government's orders.
Shehbaz said that he has lodged a defamation case against Daily Mail for publishing an article against him. "Daily Mail is yet to submit evidence in the case. In order to fabricate a fake story, meetings of the reporter, David Rose, had been arranged with powerful leaders."
In June 2020, NAB proclaimed that massive corruption had been perpetrated by Hamza, Soleiman, and Shahbaz Sharif and it would pursue and prove in a British court that the accusations were true.
Reports on Monday claimed that NCA had launched a probe after ARU sent a letter to the UK government on December 11, 2019, leveling serious allegations against Sharifs.
It was also claimed that the Westminster court has given a verdict against the NCA's decision to freeze the funds and after the court verdict, the NCA restored the bank accounts of Shehbaz Sharif's family.
At a media briefing in Islamabad later in the day, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed that the case in London was not initiated by the government of Pakistan.
The investigation, which lasted two years, was into the accounts of a frontman Zulfiqar Ahmed. "London’s NCA probe the accounts of Soleiman Shehbaz and Ahmed on its own. They approached our unit, which has been set up under Shahzad Akbar, and asked for help regarding ‘hundi’ transactions that took place."
Chaudhry said that cases against Shehbaz Sharif were initiated in Pakistan.
"There are two cases against him that are ripe. There are other cases against him too but two are ripe at the moment. One case has been filed by NAB Lahore against Shehbaz Sharif, Nusrat Shehbaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Soleiman Shehbaz and others. It’s a Rs7.32billion reference that is still underway. For six months, there was no judge in this case."
The other case is about Rs25 billion which is a part of the sugar inquiry commission. Al-Arabia and Ramzan Sugar mills were running an organized money laundering network, the minister revealed.
Chaudhry added that Shahzad Saleem's UK visit was part of a course offered by the UK authorities to Pakistan’s FIA and NAB officials on white-collar crime. "None of them met anyone in the UK about the money laundering case."