Ahsan Iqbal says ex-judge is 'party to the whole affair'
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has rejected the appointment of Justice (retired) Azmat Saeed as the head of Broadsheet inquiry committee.
“[They] are bringing their own arbiter now to cover up the Broadsheet matter,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
“Handing over the investigation to a person, who is himself a party to this who affair, means that you want to cover up.”
Iqbal said his party would not allow this.
Javed Latif noted that Saeed was on the board of directors of Shaukat Khanum Hospital. He was also a member of the bench that announced verdict against Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case, he said.
Latif said they would not allow the use of public money for political purposes.
“Azmat Saeed was a NAB prosecutor when the Broadsheet agreement was signed,” Ata Tarar said. “He does not have the right to investigate the Broadsheet case.”
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb called the ex-judge a “controversial figure”. “Former deputy prosecutor general of NAB cannot hold transparent investigation,” she said.
“This would be a bigger fraud than the Broadsheet case,” Aurangzeb added.
Justice (retired) Saeed was appointed the head of the inquiry committee on Thursday. He had been working as the deputy prosecutor general of NAB when the anti-corruption watchdog signed an agreement with Broadsheet LLC, according to information on the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s website.
The inquiry committee will complete its investigation within 45 days, Information Minister Shibli Faraz told the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information.
UK-based firm Broadsheet LLC was hired in 2000 by General Pervez Musharraf’s government to recover assets stolen by the past Pakistani governments.
The contract expired in 2003 and the firm alleged it was not paid. It sued Pakistan in the London Court of International Arbitration in 2016 and won an award of $21 million in 2019.
Islamabad appealed the decision in the London High Court and the award was increased to $33 million.
UK authorities recently seized $28.7 million from the Pakistan High Commission’s account and the rest remains payable.