ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that PML-N leader Khawaja Asif is using the excuse of political revenge to escape accountability and failed to satisfy National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in assets beyond means.
Addressing a press conference along with Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan today, Qureshi said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned Khwaja Asif several times to present himself and satisfy the agency.
“It seems as if Khwaja Asif couldn’t respond NAB’s questions related to assets beyond means,” the minister added. He said that opposition parties termed Asif’s arrest political revenge by the government which is not right.
“NAB is an independent institution and is not subservient to the government,” he said. “The laws according to which NAB operates were not introduced by the PTI,” added FM Qureshi.
The foreign minister said that people should refrain from speaking about a PTI-NAB nexus since the accountability bureau is an independent body.
The FM accused the opposition of demanding an NRO from the government, adding that Khawaja Asif had been present in the FATF-related legislation meetings that took place between the government and Opposition.
Speaking on the occasion, Babar Awan said that holding an Iqamah allows a person to hold accounts in foreign banks. “Iqamah is a residency permit that those who work abroad get. The money earned through illegal means is sent abroad and then brought back to the country by Pakistan’s politicians,” he stated.
On Tuesday, presenting a detailed charge sheet against Asif, NAB said it was carrying out investigations against the PML-N leader under Clause 4 of the NAB Ordinance 1999 and Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.
“Before assuming the public office in 1991, the total worth of Khawaja Asif’s assets was Rs5.1 million which increased to Rs221m in 2018 after serving on different posts that do not match with his known sources of income,” says the statement.
“Asif claimed to have received Rs130m from a UAE firm M/s IMECO, but during the course of an investigation, he failed to present any solid evidence of receiving this amount as a salary,” it said, adding: “This clearly shows that the accused tried to prove his income through fake sources.”