Sheikh Rasheed petitions court seeking reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case

01:03 PM | 28 Aug, 2017
Sheikh Rasheed petitions court seeking reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case
ISLAMABAD - Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Monday requesting the court to issue directives for retrial in Hudaibya Paper Mills case.

The AML supremo, in his petition, contended that National Accountability Bureau had informed the apex court that it would reply in seven days regarding reopening of the Hudaibiya case.

However, 'the bureau failed to reply within the stipulated time period and NAB chairman was even sent a notice in this regard but that too has yet to be replied to' stated the petition.

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Rasheed also quoted that the apex court had directed reopening of the high-profile case in its July 28 judgment that led to the disqualification of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The firebrand political leader argued if the case is not reopened by NAB, money laundering in the country will be strengthened.

Talking to newsmen outside the apex court, Rasheed stated that rumours regarding formulation of another NRO (National Reconciliation Order) were rife in the Capital.

"Attempts are being made to save people’s assets," he claimed.

He vowed that as long as this assembly was here, Articles 62, 63 were "not going anywhere" claiming that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also expressed support for theses constitutional clauses.

Sheikh Rasheed was also one of the petitioners besides Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami who sought disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in Panama papers case

Hudaibiya Paper Mills case

The Hudaibiya Paper Mills was allegedly used as a cover up by the Sharif family to launder money outside the country in the 1990s through Ishaq Dar.

Apart from being in the good books of Nawaz Sharif, Dar’s role for investigating the money trail of the first family becomes more central as he spilt the beans regarding money laundering during the second stint of prime minister Nawaz Sharif with respect to the case.

The Hudaibya Paper mills case was discussed rigorously in the Supreme Court as well. Incumbent finance minister Ishaq Dar had alleged before a magistrate back in 2000 that the Sharif brothers used the Hudaibya Paper Mills as a cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

In his confessional statement on April 4, 2000, in connection with the Hudaibya Papers Mills Limited (HPML) case, Dar said that he had good relations with Masood Ahmed Qazi since 1970 and during his stay in London in early 1970s, he was staying with the Qazi family at Ilford, Essex (1970-72).

In his statement submitted before NAB that rocked the political corridors, Dar said, “Masood Ahmad Qazi belonged to a middle-class family and he used to treat me as one of his family members.”

Dar went on to say, “As far as their financial status in the year 1992 is concerned, according to my information there was no significant improvement in the previous status of the middle-class family.”

The finance minister stated that he established a Modaraba company named First Hajveri Modarba Company (FHMC), a Non-Banking Financial Institution (NDFI) in 1990 and the company started its operations next year with a paid up capital of Rs150 million, Dawn news reported.

He said that Nawaz Sharif had been his batchmate at Govt College Lahore during 1964 to 1966, “However, we had no connections at the time.” He came closer to Sharif family in 1990 after he was being recognised at the national level, particularly for his suggestions on national budgets, reads the statement.

According to the document, Dar introduced the Qazi family to Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif in 1990 at a function in Lahore.

“In early 1992, Mian Nawaz Sharif, who was then prime minister of Pakistan, contacted me and requested to provide the credit line of approximately Rs100 million to the business concerns of his family, from my Modaraba… subsequently, he sent me photocopies of the passports of Mrs Sikandar Masood Qazi, Nuzhat Gohar, Talat Masood Qazi and Kashif Masood Qazi (family members of Masood Qazi).

“He asked me to open/operate foreign currency accounts in their names in different banks with the foreign currency funds provided by the Sharif family,” it reads.

Following the presentation of details of transitions and other financial matters, Dar said: “They (Sharifs) made all this arrangement as they could not have explainable sources of these funds which ultimately landed in one of their companies.”

On the other hand, Ishaq Dar while clarifying his position in the backdrop of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case expressed that the confessional statement was taken under duress.