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December 6, 2018

Data from Switzerland to begin landing in six weeks

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December 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar Wednesday said details of 25 private trips undertaken by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, costing the national exchequer about Rs250 million, were being forwarded to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as a complainant.

He told a news conference here along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister Iftikhar Durrani that Akbar said an agreement has been signed with Switzerland for tracking the bank accounts of Pakistanis, which had been endorsed by the Swiss government as well. The agreement, he explained, would enable the government to take data from Switzerland and information would start pouring within four-six weeks.

He said Nawaz went on private trips but these were paid from the national exchequer and the purpose of moving NAB on this matter was to reiterate that in future premiers would not to opt for such lavish trips. Unlike in the past, the Prime Minister Office was being opened as previously, such data on a prime minister’s private visits could not be obtained.

Shahzad Akbar referred to some of the private trips and explained that on one trip to Jeddah in August 2013, which cost the nation Rs5 million and Nawaz had taken along 18 persons on tax-payers’ money. Again in September same year, he noted he took along 12 people to the United Kingdom, which cost the national exchequer Rs20 million. He then proceeded to Saudi Arabia for performing umrah at the cost of Rs17 million and 23 persons accompanied him.

He expressed surprise that wealthy people like Nawaz could not perform umrah from their own pocket. Shahzad added that the former prime minister went to the United Kingdom again in 2016, where he had his properties and could be looking after them; he had taken along 14 persons at the cost of Rs34 million.

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