NAB seeks Al-Qadir Trust records in Bahria Town's Rawalpindi office raid

Malik Riaz says he will bear all hardships and not become "an approver"

By
Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
NAB seeks Al-Qadir Trust records in Bahria Towns Rawalpindi office raid
CCTV footage shows NAB team raiding popular housing society Bahria Town's office in Rawalpindi. — Screengrab/Geo News

RAWALPINDI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) raided Bahria Town's office in Rawalpindi on Monday “in connection with Al-Qadir Trust University case”, sources told Geo News.

The sources said that the anti-corruption watchdog’s team conducted the raid to “search for records of Al-Qadir Trust University” at Bahria Town’s Rawalpindi office. 

It also emerged that the Punjab police and elite force’s teams were also present in the raid.

It is noteworthy to mention here that Al-Qadir Trust University links to a high-profile case leading to the incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement reference.

Reacting to the raid, Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz Hussain said on X, formerly Twitter, that he would bear all hardships and not become "an approver".

NAB seeks Al-Qadir Trust records in Bahria Towns Rawalpindi office raid
— X/@MalikRiaz_

The sources also added that the anti-graft watchdog launched an investigation into alleged irregularities against Bahria Town.

A probe has been commenced into the "land that has been acquired for Bahria Enclave’s project on a land allocated for establishing a zoo".

What is A-Qadir Trust case?

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

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

As per the charges, Khan and other accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — £190 million at the time — sent by Britain’s 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, the 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 got approval for 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.

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.