Wednesday Jan 13, 2021
The Panama papers exposed the corruption and money laundering of Pakistan's ruling elite and now they have been exposed again after the Broadsheet revelations, says Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, the premier spoke about the corruption of the elite in the country and how it stands exposed.
A day earlier, Minister for Information Shibli Faraz said that an inter-ministerial committee has been formed to probe the Broadsheet LLC scandal.
An interview of Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi has surfaced on YouTube in which he makes several claims regarding the firm's investigation into the assets of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif held abroad.
PM Khan said these elites cannot hide behind the "victimisation" card on these international revelations.
He listed down four things the "revelations" exposed repeatedly.
The first, he said, was what he has been saying in his 24-year fight against corruption that it is the biggest threat to Pakistan's progress
The second was that the elites come to power and plunder the country and third that they launder money to stash their ill-gotten gains abroad, safe from domestic prosecution.
Lastly, the premier said the elites then use their political clout to get NROs. "That is how they kept their plundered wealth safe. People of Pak are biggest losers," PM Khan wrote.
"Not only is their nation's wealth stolen by the elites, their taxpayer money, paid for recovering this wealth, is wasted because of NROs," the PM said, adding that the Broadsheet revelation is just the tip of the iceberg.
"We want complete transparency from Broadsheet on our elites money laundering and on who stopped investigations," he concluded.
The Broadsheet saga is continuing to make headlines in the country as the head of the asset recovery firm has now claimed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif offered them a bribe to abandon the probe against his foreign assets.
Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi, in a YouTube interview, said the company had flatly refused the deal offered by a person claiming to be a nephew of Nawaz Sharif, in the year 2012, retorting that the Broadsheet did not negotiate with crooks.
“Sharif family has assets not only in the United Kingdom but across the globe,” he said, adding that the Sharif family required plenty of explanation about their resources of amassing these assets.
He said the process of accountability was continuing, but after President Musharraf left office, his successors started hampering the process by not giving access to information and termination of Broadsheet’s contract.
Responding to a question, he severely criticised Nawaz for claiming that Broadsheet had exonerated the Sharifs.
“Indeed Broadsheet did the opposite exactly,” he said, adding that it was a complete lie that Broadsheet exonerated the Sharif family. "Broadsheet did not pursue Avenfield apartments source of buying as a Pakistani accountability court had already contended that the apartments were bought by the Sharifs from the stolen money. However Broadsheet was ready to investigate money sources of Avenfield apartments if asked by the government of Pakistan,” he said.
The CEO said Nawaz was behind the termination of the contract with Broadsheet which was investigating how hundreds of millions of dollars had been stolen from Pakistan and stashed abroad.
Moussavi said Musharraf tasked Broadsheet to detect the assets of 200 people. But, after his tenure, the NAB started asking to remove names of certain people from the list that was refused.
“This was the hypocrisy of the then government of Pakistan,” he said.