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National

June 14, 2018

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Dar case: NBP president tells SC he was pressurised by NAB

ISLAMABAD: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed has claimed before the Supreme Court that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had pressurized him to become approver against Ishaq Dar in assets-beyond-means case, or else he would be made co-accused in the case.

NBP president who has filed a petition against NAB in the Supreme Court of Pakistan has submitted an affidavit and claimed in his statement that NAB has found no evidence of his involvement in the opening and operation of the bank accounts. Even the NAB’s own forensic report has proved that signature of Saeed Ahmed had been forged.

On February 26, 2018, Lahore NAB Director Amjad Aulakh called Saeed Ahmed and interviewed him on telephone. During the telephonic interview Mr Aulakh warned Saeed that he has only two options, either to become an approver in this case or else he will be charged as co-accused and there is no third option. However, Mr. Saeed refused to become an approver against Dar after which NAB added his name as co-accused in the case.

After failing to collect any conclusive evidence against Mr Saeed in the assets beyond means case of Ishaq Dar, NAB included his name as co-accused on the basis of assumption. The NAB believes that Mr Saeed has been rewarded lucrative posts including Deputy Governor State Bank and then President National Bank of Pakistan just because he rendered his services for the opening and operation of these accounts.

Earlier on Wednesday counsel for NBP president read out the statement of Saeed Ahmed before the accountability court. According to this statement, the applicant attended all the inquiry/investigation scheduled by NAB communicated through summons/notices and his reply to each question by the investigation team to their satisfaction but suddenly on 22 February 2018 (Thursday) he received a call from NAB Lahore with the instructions to come to Lahore on 26th February 2018, there was scheduled meeting for considering the annual accounts of NBP. This inability was communicated but the NAB personnel insisted for visit anyhow they conducted the interview on telephone. This conversation continued for 15 minutes. For the sake of ready reference and to point out the reason of applicant as an accused is self-explained therefore the relevant conversation is placed below for ready reference.

“On Thursday 22/2/2018 I received a phone call from Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Deputy Director NAB Lahore. He asked me to come on the following Monday 26/02/2018 to NAB Lahore as they wanted some clarifications regarding account opened in my name in relation to Mr Dar reference (assets beyond means). I told him that there is a Board of Directors Audit Committee meeting on Monday 26 February where NBP’s final accounts for year ending 2017 would be discussed and finalised. Due to this I told him that it won’t be possible for me to attend the meeting. He told me that it would be helpful if I went.

On Sunday I weighed the situation and considering that there is no formal notice received regarding NAB meeting of Monday 26 February and also considering that annual accounts for NBP will have to be finalised in which my presence as CEO is crucial and the meeting cannot be postponed, I had no choice but to stay in Karachi”, says the statement.

“During the NBP board audit committee meeting in Karachi on 26 February about 4 pm I received a phone call from Amjad Aulakh, the Director NAB Lahore who told me that he was with the deputy director Mr Ahsan Iqbal and Assistant Director and IO Mr. Nadir and wanted to talk. He asked me as why I didn’t attend the meeting in Lahore. I replied and stated the reason of the Audit Committee meeting. He said that he had been told about it by the Deputy Director and showed understanding”, reads the statement. As per the statement, “Mr Aulakh said that after they sent report from NAB Lahore to their Head Office in Islamabad, their legal department had asked for more information.

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