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NAB summons Imran Khan in £190m settlement case, again

Web Desk
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks at the launching ceremony of Al Qadir University — APP/file
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks at the launching ceremony of Al Qadir University — APP/file

  • Khan skipped an appearance at NAB Rawalpindi office on May 18.
  • Govt and Army vow to try May 9 miscreants in the military courts.
  • PTI chairman is facing charges of corruption of billions of rupees.

A day after skipping an appearance at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi office, the anti-corruption watchdog on Friday summoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to appear before it in-person on May 23 in £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case.

The anti-graft crusader has summoned the former prime minister — who was removed from office in April last year via a vote of no-confidence — in connection with an investigation related to the £190m settlement from the UK.

A two-member team of the NAB handed over the summon to the legal team of the former prime minister at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore tonight.

On May 9, violent protests, triggered by Khan’s arrest in the same case, hit the streets almost across the country, which led to the deaths of at least 10 people and injured several others, prompting the authorities to arrest thousands of PTI workers.

Civil and military installations — including the General Headquarters (GHQ) and Corps Commander House (Jinnah House) in Lahore — also came under attack by the miscreants on the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest.

However, the Supreme Court ordered his release on May 11 and directed him to appear before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the next day.

The military and the government alike have vowed to try the vandals who attacked army installations under the Pakistan Army Act, Official Secrets Act, and other laws.

The case

The PTI chairman is facing charges of corruption of billions of rupees in the case involving a property tycoon.

Khan — along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders — is facing a NAB inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and the property tycoon, which reportedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer.

As per the charges, Khan and other accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — 190 million pounds at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the Pakistani government as part of the agreement with the property tycoon.

They are also accused of getting undue benefit in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.

During the PTI government, United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) seized assets worth 190 million pounds from the property tycoon in Britain.

The agency said the assets would be passed to the government of Pakistan and the settlement with the Pakistani property tycoon was “a civil matter, and does not represent a finding of guilt”.

Subsequently, then-prime minister Khan get approval of the settlement with the UK crime agency from his cabinet on December 3, 2019, without disclosing the details of the confidential agreement.

It was decided that the money would be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.

Subsequently, the Al-Qadir Trust was established in Islamabad a few weeks after the PTI-led government approved the agreement with the property tycoon.

PTI leaders Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Bushra Bibi, and her close friend Farah Khan were appointed as members of the trust.

Two to three months after the cabinet’s approval, the property tycoon transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close aide of the PTI chief, which he later transferred to the trust.

Later, Bukhari and Awan opted out as the trustees. That trust is now registered in the name of Khan, Bushra Bibi and Farah.

NAB officials were earlier probing the alleged misuse of powers in the process of recovery of “dirty money” received from the UK crime agency.

Following the emergence of "irrefutable evidence" in the case, the inquiry was converted into an investigation.

According to the NAB officials, Khan and his wife obtained land worth billions of rupees from the property tycoon, to build an educational institute, in return for striking a deal to give legal cover to the property tycoon’s black money received from the UK crime agency.