Thursday Nov 17, 2022
PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry has been found to have repeatedly contacted the Dubai-based businessman, who purchased expensive gifts given by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to former prime minister Imran Khan.
Chaudhry earlier declared the businessman, Umar Farooq Zahoor, a suspicious person and a liar.
Chaudhry has been sending WhatsApp messages to Umar, appealing to him not to take Khan's name. Geo News anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada showed screenshots of the messages during his current affairs programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath" on Wednesday.
Khanzada said Chaudhry also promised to help Zahoor get contracts from the Government of Pakistan.
In his press briefing, Chaudhry called Zahoor a liar. In the messages, however, he refers to him as his brother.
On Tuesday, Zahoor revealed that he had bought a watch from Khan. Immediately afterwards, Chaudhry contacted him and asked what had happened. "[Taking the name of] Shahzad Akbar is understandable, but why Imran Khan?" Chaudhry asked the businessman in a Whatsapp message.
Past WhatsApp conversations between the two have revealed more details as well. Once Zahoor also complained that Akbar had filed a case against him. Chaudhry supported him and described the cases as scary.
Zahoor and Chaudhry met in Dubai several times. They also met on a yacht. During the PTI government, the two exchanged messages about vaccines, e-sports, and IT sector-related business planning.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chaudhry announced that the PTI would commence legal action against Zahoor in Dubai. He said that the watch was not sold to him the businessman. Another PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari said that the dealer to whom Imran Khan sold the watch fled Pakistan.
Farah Khan, who is former first lady Bushra Bibi's friend, took advantage of the amnesty scheme during former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's era, not Imran Khan's, said her husband, Ahsan Jamil Gujjar.
Gujjar's statement stands in contradiction with his own previous assertion that he gave during his appearance on Geo News' programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath" on April 28, 2022. He had claimed that Farah received amnesty in 2019 during PTI's tenure.
Farah sold around Rs280 million worth of gifts in April 2019. She took benefit of approximately Rs330 million from the tax amnesty scheme, which was launched a month later in May 2019.
Zahoor claimed in an interview with Khanzada on Tuesday that he has evidence to prove he bought the rare watch and three other Toshakhana gifts from Farah for 7.5 million dirhams in cash.
The businessman alleged that he was later blackmailed, and fake cases of money laundering were registered against him by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at the behest of Akbar after he refused to listen to the demands made by his former wife Sophia Mirza.
However, Farah's husband stated that she has never spoken to or known Umar Farooq Zahoor. "Farah never met Shahzad Akbar, and neither did I."
He said that Farah's trips to Dubai had nothing to do with the watch's sale. Setting aside the possibility of Farah selling the watch, Gujjar argued how a woman would feel safe carrying $2 million.
Bushra Bibi is not a watch or jewellery lover, he said, adding that Farah had never seen this watch in Imran Khan's house or with Bushra Bibi.
Elaborating on his point about Farah's taking advantage of the amnesty scheme, her husband said, "Our team has already given its position regarding the amnesty scheme: We did not take any amnesty during Imran Khan's regime. Instead, we took amnesty worth Rs330 million during Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's tenure. There are documents to prove that amnesty was granted during Shahid Khaqan's tenure."