PTI govt to re-probe Hudaibiya paper mills case against Sharifs

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ISLAMABAD – The federal government has decided to reinvestigate Hudaibiya Paper Mills against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

This was disclosed by Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in a couple of tweets on Monday.

The development comes on the heels of the Lahore High Court’s permission to Shehbaz Sharif to go abroad for his treatment.

The information minister said: “Today, Prime Minister Imran Khan was briefed about case against Shehbaz Sharif by the legal team”.

He said that the government has decided to re-probe the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, adding that institutions concerned are being issued directives to launch fresh investigation into the matter.

Chaudhry said that Hudaibiya case is the most important lead in corruption cases against Sharifs, adding that both Shehbaz and Nawaz are the main suspects in the case.

The approach used for transferring money abroad in the Hudaibiya case was also implemented in other cases, he said, adding that concluding the case is necessary.

Hudaibiya Paper Mills Case

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) launched Hudaibiya Paper Mills money laundering reference against Sharif in 2000 on the basis of an April 25, 2000 confession statement from former finance minister Ishaq Dar, wherein he confessed to laundering money to the tune of $14.86 million on behalf of the Sharifs through fake bank accounts.

Ishaq Dar was however later pardoned by the then NAB chairman over his confession statement.

On March 11, 2014, LHC referee judge Justice Sardar Shamim had rejected the reference on the grounds that if a re-probe was probed in the matter, it would give an opportunity to investigators to pad up lacunas.

The LHC had quashed the case as the PML-N claimed that Dar’s statement was taken under duress.

In 2017, the NAB filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking re-investigation of the matter. However, the petition was rejected by the bench — comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.