ISLAMABAD – The supreme court of Pakistan granted two weeks time to the National Accountability Bureau to collect and prepare documents regarding the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case as it concluded the first hearing on Tuesday.
The three-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam heard the arguments of NAB prosecutor who contended that he could not find the original Hudaibiya reference but hastened to add that it was not relevant for this hearing.
Justice Alam then remarked that when the original reference was unavailable, what was the purpose of the hearing.
The other member of the bench, Justice Isa then directed the NAB prosecutor to read out the petition who then informed the bench that the suspect (Nawaz Sharif) was sent out of the country when the case was under way.
Justice Isa then inquired if the suspect went on his own free will or was coerced into such mov.
To this, the NAB official said the country’s then chief executive had sent him.
When asked by Justice Isa who the chief executive was at the time , the NAB prosecutor replied it was General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
The accountability watchdog sought a month’s time to prepare the documents, however, the bench granted fourteen days and adjourned the hearing until December 11.
Let it be known that the bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel along with other judges was formulated after Justice Asif Saeed Khosa rescued himself from the case as he was part of the bench that heard the Panama Papers case that led to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister.
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 in 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 extensively in the Supreme Court as well. 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.