ISLAMABAD – The six-member Joint Investigation Team has summoned federal finance minister Ishaq Dar to probe into the money trail of ruling Sharif family in the backdrop of Panama case verdict.
According to Samaa news, a notice has been issued to Ishaq Dar, who also happens to be the old loyalist of Sharif family having a deep knowledge about their financial details.
On the other hand, Ishaq Dar when asked about receiving any notice from the JIT responded that he was busy finalizing the federal budget and did not receive any summon in this regard.
Meanwhile, the elder son of premier Nawaz Sharif appeared for the fourth time before the JIT on Saturday to record his statement.
Earlier, on Friday, Hassan Nawaz, the younger son of prime minister Nawaz Sharif recorded his statement before the investigative team formulated by the supreme court of Pakistan after the April 20 judgment of Panama case.
The members of Joint Investigation Team who headed to London to collect the evidences regarding the ongoing probe have also returned back as it is highly likely that the investigations would gain pace now.
Ishaq Dar- A Close Confidant of Sharifs
Summoning Ishaq Dar at a time when the JIT has interrogated both scions of Nawaz Sharif is of pivotal importance as the finance minister is arguably most closest t the first family.
Interestingly, Ishaq Dar’s son is hitched to daughter of prime minister Nawaz Sharif and so both the families maintain a cemented ties.
Hudaibia Paper Mills Case
Apart from being in good books of Nawaz Sharif, Dar’s role for investigating the money trail of first family becomes more central as he spilled the beans regarding money laundering during the second stint of prime minister Nawaz Sharif harnessing Hudaibia paper mills case.
It bears mention that the Hudaibia 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 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 Hudabya 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 functions 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 intimacy 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 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.”
Nonetheless, Ishaq Dar and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif claimed that the confessional statement was taken under duress.