ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday Sharif family initiated corruption in Pakistan who also, along with Zardari family, are responsible for the inflation as well.
Addressing a press conference, the minister claimed that since the end of 1988 up until the start of 1990, the Sharifs had accumulated a lot of wealth and were in a conundrum about “how to manage it and turn it white to use within Pakistan or anywhere else.”
The Minister said, “Therefore, in 1992, the Economic Reforms Act was introduced, which had an apparently innocent provision which entailed that the source of money coming from abroad will not be questioned by the authorities.”
“In 1996-97 and then 1997-98, the authorities noticed a very suspicious transaction and found that the company behind it was Hudaibiya Papers Mill, which had a total value of Rs95 million. All of a sudden Rs810m worth of foreign remittances were credited to the company’s accounts,” he said.
Minister said thus subsequent investigations revealed the owner of Hudaibiya Paper Mills to be Mian Mohammad Sharif, the father of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
“When the case was torn open in earnest, it was found that an economic hitman, Ishaq Dar, was hired. Dar introduced a novel method for money laundering: fake accounts. Money was deposited in these fake accounts and then sent abroad through Hawala Hundi. Thereafter, the money arrived in Pakistan through TT (Telegraphic Transfer) to accounts of 40 individuals, all of whom were related to the Sharifs [including] some very distant relatives,” the minister said.
Chaudhry continued, “All of this was described by Dar under oath to a magistrate in 2008, in a confession which outlined each and every detail.” “The period after that is before you. Musharraf’s investigation could not continue and the Sharifs were given an NRO,” the minister said while discussing origins of alleged Sharif corruption case.
Minister said, “Now why I want to talk about Hudaibiya is because all subsequent cases of corruption followed the exact same scheme. Hill Metal Establishment followed the same method as in Hudaibiya Paper Mills.”
Info minister further claimed, “Hussain Nawaz sent around 126,768 euros […] the overall amount sent by him was around Rs1,165.6 million, through TT to Nawaz Sharif. Out of this amount, Nawaz Sharif then gave 820 million to Maryam Nawaz, who then bought agricultural land from the amount.”
While discussing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, the Info minister said, “Whereas here [in the case of the Sharifs], there was the creation of and use of fake accounts, Zardari sahab bought an entire bank for himself.”
Info minister claimed that after creating a network in Sindh which would open fake bank accounts, the money was deposited in the accounts of people, “such as the man who sold falooda (an ice cream dessert) in Faisalabad and saw millions of rupees transferred to his account”.
The minister said, “in all the cases, money was transferred to insignificant people, such as gardeners, drivers, guards, etc. If a person so much as passed by these people (behind the transactions) from afar, their accounts would be targeted and used,” adding, “When an investigation began into those accounts, FIA unearthed the involvement of around 5000 accounts of which 32 accounts were the main accounts which branched out to the others.”
The minister added, “everything was traced to these accounts: payment for Bilawal Bhutto’s aircraft expenditures, for Ayyan Ali’s tickets, and for the expenditures of Bilawal House. Moreover, Bakhtawar [Bhutto]’s birthday expenses were also paid through these accounts.”