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January 14, 2021

Broadsheet revelations ‘tip of the iceberg’: PM

Top Story

 
January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the revelations emerging from UK-based assets recovery firm Broadsheet are the “tip of the iceberg”, which, after the Panama papers have again exposed the “massive scale” of the ruling elite’s alleged corruption and money laundering.

“We want complete transparency from Broadsheet on our elites’ money laundering and on who stopped investigations,” the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets. In his tweets, the Prime Minister said: “Panama Papers exposed our ruling elites’ corruption and money laundering earlier. Now Broadsheet revelations have again exposed the massive scale of our ruling elites’ corruption and money laundering. These elites cannot hide behind ‘victimisation’ card on these international revelations.”

He added that these revelations repeatedly expose “exactly what I have been saying in my 24-year fight against corruption”, which he described as “the biggest threat” to Pakistan’s progress. The Prime Minister said: “These elites come to power and plunder the country. They do money laundering to stash their ill-gotten gains abroad, safe from domestic prosecution. They then use their political clout to get NROs. That is how they kept their plundered wealth safe.”

He lamented how the people of Pakistan “are biggest losers” in such circumstances. “Not only is their nation’s wealth stolen by the elites, their taxpayer money, paid for recovering this wealth, is wasted because of NROs. These revelations [are the] tip of the iceberg. We want complete transparency from Broadsheet on our elites money laundering and on who stopped investigations.”

His comments came a day after the federal cabinet formed an inter-ministerial panel to expose those mentioned in the revelations.

Broadsheet has of late returned to the political discourse after Pakistan paid nearly $29 million to the firm earlier this month in the wake of UK court’s ruling. Broadsheet was contracted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Pervez Musharraf regime to trace the assets of Pakistanis.

Reacting to the Premier’s tweets, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb at a press conference said the developments in the wake of Broadsheet, and the government’s subsequent payments to the company were a charge sheet against a “dictator” and Imran Khan, Geo News reported.

“Broadsheet has exposed the outdated system and how conspiracies were hatched against the elected prime ministers through a dictatorial system.” She also asked in which public treasury was the money that Broadsheet reportedly recovered was deposited. Aurangzeb said: “The biggest money laundering in the history of Pakistan is happening today. Imran Khan is sitting on a chair and looking for NRO, we demand your resignation.”

She said that Imran Sahib you should not get up in the morning and ask questions but you should have questions. Broadsheet said that the attitude of Shehzad Akbar and the NAB is disappointing, she said, adding Imran Sahib paid Rs 400 crore because dictatorial thinking is still prevailing in the country.