Pakistan's one-man commission to probe Broadsheet scandal

09:40 PM | 26 Jan, 2021
Pakistan's one-man commission to probe Broadsheet scandal

ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet has approved constitution of a one-member inquiry commission to investigate the Broadsheet scandal.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz while addressing a press conference said that former Supreme Court judge Azmat Saeed Sheikh will be the member of the commission, which will also investigate the matters Hudabiyya Mills and Surrey mansion.

He said the commission instead of a committee is being set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act 2017 to probe the revelations made by the Broadsheet, a UK-based asset recovery firm.

Last week, the cabinet had set up an inquiry committee to be headed by a former judge of apex court, giving him 45 days deadline to complete the investigation. One representative each of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Attorney General of Pakistan office and a lawyer to was to pick for the committee.

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The inquiry body was formed on the recommendations of inter-ministerial committee to probe revelations made a British court in the Broadsheet case and fix responsibility on Pakistanis, who had laundered money to abroad.

Pakistan, during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf, roped in Broadsheet in 2000 to track down the foreign assets of purchased by the Pakistani politicians through looted money.

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However, NAB ended the asset recovery agreement with the firm in 2003, pushing Broadsheet and another company involved as third party to move the London High Court for damages.

The UK-based companies claimed that Pakistan owned them money according to the terms agreed upon since the government was taking action to seize assets identified by the firm including the Avenfiled apartments of the Sharif family.

Later, an arbitration was held by Sir Anthony, who found the claims of the companies valid. Later, the London High Court endorsed the findings, ordering Pakistan to pay $28 million to Broadsheet.

Meanwhile, in a tweet tonight Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has stated that Justice Retired Azmat Saeed Sheikh will head the inquiry committee on the Broadsheet case.

The Pakistani government has already paid nearly Rs5 billion to the company.