Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday formed a five-member inter-ministerial committee over the Broadsheet saga and directed his team to present the entire case before the public.
The committee would include Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, Babar Awan and Shehzad Akbar. The meeting of the government functionaries, headed by the prime minister, was given an in-depth briefing on the Broadsheet issue by Adviser on Accountability Shehzad Akbar.
The Prime Minister directed the committee to furnish its recommendations within 48 hours, and the government’s next course of action will be decided in the light of those recommendations.
Imran Khan said that the matter should be put before the masses in detail and all facts in the case before the London court should be made public.
“The Broadsheet was investigating the 20-year-old assets,” he said adding that the accountability for the last 10 years is yet to be done.
Khan said that those who had transferred the looted money abroad from the country would not be spared. The prime minister further lauded the ECP for taking up the foreign funding issue and said that the PTI was the first party that was established with the funds collected from the masses.
“We proudly say that our party is not funded by any mafia,” he said adding that if they would have funded the PTI then the incumbent government had to surrender before such elements.
Meanwhile, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior, Shahzad Akbar, addressing a press conference said the government has decided to make public the judgement of a British court regarding Broadsheet and Pakistan involving liability and quantum awards.
He said that the Broadsheet case is being debated widely across the country and the government has decided to make the Broadsheet document public on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directions. He added that the documents are being made public after obtaining a written approval from Broadsheet’s lawyers.
Akbar said they had approached Broadsheet to make the judgement clear on the instructions of the Prime Minister to ensure transparency.
He said that deals made by previous governments and national reconciliation ordinances (NROs) issued in the past had badly affected the country and cost the national exchequer. The adviser said that the 2007 NRO has been mentioned in the verdict, adding that it has said that the “stolen money’s” value was calculated to be Rs16 million.
Akbar also urged people to respect the constitutional institutions and lauded the National Accountability Bureau for its performance. “Recoveries made by the anti-graft watchdog over the last two years are a clear proof of improvement in its working,” claimed the adviser. He stressed that accountability is not possible without transparency.
Shahzad Akbar said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif went abroad in 2000 after making a deal with then President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan suffered the consequences of this NRO in the form of fine. The country is still being affected by the mistakes that former rulers made in the past, he said.
He maintained, “The contract between the National Accountability Bureau and Broadsheet was signed in June 2000 and Nawaz Sharif went abroad in December, 2000 after a deal with Pervez Musharraf. The anti-corruption watchdog ended the contract in 2003 and $1.5million were paid after settlement on May 20, 2008. An appeal was lodged in high court in July 2019 but the verdict came in Broadsheet’s favour.”