Saturday Apr 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Under the Terms of Reference (TORs), the commission of inquiry will be able to summon and question former military dictator Pervez Musharraf for allegedly big wealth and transferring huge money out of Pakistan in offshore accounts, a task which National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other investigating agencies couldn’t do in many years.
According to the TORs of the commission of inquiry, the commission will examine the transfer from Pakistan of funds which have originated from corruption, commissions or kickbacks.
The former military dictator Pervez Musharraf accumulated billions in offshore accounts besides the property that he has already purchased abroad or inside Pakistan but he never mentioned these assets and accounts even at the time of assets declaration while submitting his nomination papers during general elections 2013.
Despite having such huge chunk of amount in his offshore accounts, neither did any investigative agency nor did the accountability bureau question him how he got billions of rupees in his foreign accounts. However the commission of inquiry appointed by prime minister in the wake of Panama Leaks has a broader scope and powers which can question ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf from where he got billions of rupees which are kept in his offshore accounts. Musharraf, who retired as army chief, till recently was in possession of around Rs2,156 million net cash in his offshore bank accounts besides other moveable and immovable property, but in his official papers submitted with the Election Commission, he declared that his property worth was mere Rs626 million.
A source, having a close association with the former dictator, confided to The News that Musharraf had at least seven to ten offshore accounts in Dubai and London, containing huge cash in dollars, pounds and dirhams worth Rs2,156 million rupees in 2012. According to the source, besides having foreign bank accounts, Musharraf has also made huge saving investments abroad to earn large profits.
However, according to the assets declaration which former military dictator submitted to the ECP, while filing nomination papers, the total value of his assets which he had mentioned in his assets declaration form was almost Rs626 million which included net assets, Rs1.96 million shares of Bank Al-Falah in the name of his wife, 170 tolas gold jewellery, Rs6 million furniture and Rs8 million personal expenditure. However, he has not mentioned a single onshore foreign bank account, letting offshore bank accounts aside.
There is no indication as to who funded him and how he became fabulously rich but the retired general had accumulated billions in offshore accounts besides the property that he had already purchased abroad or inside Pakistan.
In his memoir - In the Line of Fire - Musharraf admitted that he had come from a really humble background where they did not have enough money but now he paid at least half a million rupees as monthly salary to his personal staff residing inside Pakistan.
According to the source, besides having foreign bank accounts, Musharraf has also made huge saving investments abroad to earn large profits. The source said that in just one Dubai-based online trading service — MMA — Musharraf had $1,600,000 (Rs145 million) last year. Musharraf’s account number, according to the source in this company, is AV77777.
In the Union National Bank, which is an investment bank in Abu Dhabi, Musharraf and his spouse Sehba Musharraf, have a joint account No4002000304, in which the amount mid-last year was UAE Dirhams 17,000,000 (Rs391 million).
In the same bank — the Union National Bank — they have another joint account No400200315, which is a dollar account. This particular account last year contained $535,325 (Rs48 million).
In yet another UAE Dirham account in the same financial institution — the Union National Bank — Sehba and Musharraf had almost UAE Dirhams 7,600,000 (Rs174 million) last year. The account No is 4003006700. In the fourth account, No4003006711, in the Union National Bank, the duo had UAE Dirhams 8,000,000 (Rs184 million). In the fifth account No4003006722 in the same bank — the Union National Bank — Musharraf and his wife had $8,000,000 (Rs728 million). In the sixth account No 4003006733, Sehba Musharraf and Pervez Musharraf had UAE Dirhams 8,000,000 (Rs184 million) last year. In the seventh account No4003006744, in the same Union National Bank, the duo holds UAE Dirhams 8,000,000 (Rs184 million). In their eighth account in the same bank — the Union National Bank Abu Dhabi — the duo had $1,300,000 (Rs118 million).
During the early months of his taking over as a military dictator following his coup against the Nawaz Sharif government, General Musharraf made his wealth public, which hardly contained any cash but only some plots in different parts of the country. Musharraf claimed to be the Mr Clean of Pakistan. How did he become a billionaire is a million dollar question? Owing to the broader scope of the commission of inquiry and its power mentioned in the TORs, the commission is fully empowered to summon him and ask him the details of his offshore accounts, a task which couldn’t be done by the accountability bureau and investigating agency.