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Sunday July 14, 2024

Khattak records his statement against Imran in £190m reference

Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich heard £190 million reference in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail

By Khalid Iqbal
July 11, 2024
An undated photograph of former CM KP Pervez Khattak. — INP/File
An undated photograph of former CM KP Pervez Khattak. — INP/File

ISLAMABAD. An accountability court Wednesday adjourned the hearing of £190 million reference against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi till July 13.

Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich heard the £190 million reference in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail and Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi appeared before the court.

A witness in the reference, former federal minister Pervez Khattak, recorded his testimony during the hearing. In his statement, he said: “Shehzad Akbar informed [the cabinet meeting] that money from Pakistan was sent abroad illegally, which was confiscated in Britain and that money would be returned to Pakistan.”

Khattak said the matter was not on the cabinet agenda and was included as an additional item. Documents related to money were presented in sealed envelopes in the cabinet meeting, he added.

During the hearing, Imran Khan was seen smiling on the rostrum as Khattak delivered his statement. Khattak recorded his statement in 15 minutes and left the court.

Imran Khan responded to Pervez Khattak’s statements: “Nawaz Sharif’s flats in London must be handed over to Pakistan.”

However, former minister Zubaida Jalal and former principal secretary Azam Khan could not appear before the court during the hearing.

As many as 31 witnesses have recorded their statements while cross-examination of 30 witnesses has been concluded. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri had approved bail of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi in the reference.

Last year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a corruption reference against Imran Khan, his spouse and others, accusing them of receiving land as bribe through the Al-Qadir Trust.

Later, talking to the media, Imran Khan said transparent elections should be held afresh if the country was to be saved. The PTI supremo talked about the huge increase in national debt, stating that in 2021 it was Rs2.8 trillion but within four years, it had surged to Rs8 to Rs9 trillion.

He criticised the current government for failing the nation, saying, “The government has destroyed Pakistan’s hope; no one trusts this government anymore.” Imran pointed out severe economic burden on the common people, noting, “The poor who used to have a 2,000-rupee power bill now face a 10,000-rupee bill.”

Imran Khan complained that his party’s petitions on human rights violations and the February-8 election case were not being heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He claimed that there were plans to curb the media.

On the topic of his hunger strike announcement, Imran confirmed, “I will definitely go on a hunger strike; I am waiting for some decisions.”

Referring to an incident where a scheduled meeting with his team was unexpectedly cancelled, Imran expressed disappointment over the missed opportunity. He said he would have resolved the party’s internal disputes had the meeting proceeded as planned.