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January 21, 2021

NAB-Broadsheet deal: Man behind $1.5m deal was facing NAB probe in 2007

January 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The man who brokered a deal between Pakistan’s anti-graft body and Broadsheet is himself wanted to an accountability court in Peshawar.

The official record of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) exclusively made available with Geo News revealed that Tariq Fawad Malik was declared a proclaimed absconder by the accountability court-IV, Peshawar, in 2009. His non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by the judge after the accused fled abroad.

The anti-corruption watchdog started an inquiry against Tariq Fawad Malik in 2006, the year before he was pursuing a settlement between NAB and Broadsheet in 2007, arguing that the British firm will sue for damages if the bureau does not seal the deal.

After years of negotiation, the NAB administration made a settlement of $1.5 million to Tariq Fawad Malik and Jerry James in 2008.

Tariq Fawad Malik and his wife looted the general public on the pretext of plots/houses in two dubious societies namely M/S Islamabad Chalets and M/S Islamabad Prairies, where they collected over Rs111 million in 2004, according to NAB official documents.

Perusal of official record revealed that “the evidence collected during the investigation established that the accused persons [Tariq Fawad Malik and his wife] deceitfully, dishonestly and fraudulently cheated public at large and embezzled an amount of Rs 111,035,700”.

The judgment of Sir Anthony stated that Malik was amongst the signatories on the payment dated 20th May 2008 for £320,622 payable to Broadsheet Gibraltar, a misnomer.

After the completion of inquiry and investigation, NAB filed a reference against Tariq Fawad Malik and his wife Ayesha Fawad Malik in 2009, which is still under trial in the Accountability Court-IV in Peshawar, according to official documents.

During the inquiry/investigation of the said reference, land owned by Tariq Fawad Malik was frozen by the competent authority vide order dated Sep 26, which was confirmed by the administrative judge, Accountability Court-I in Nov 2007.

The NAB investigation further revealed that Tariq Fawad Malik and his wife launched two housing schemes namely Islamabad Chalets in 2004 and Islamabad Prairies in 2005, where they selected for housing schemes Margalla Hills Islamabad, falling in the jurisdiction of District Haripur NWFP.

As cheating and fraud was exposed through the media, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo moto action against the Islamabad Chalets Housing Scheme in the wake of massive destruction of the environment, which created panic amongst hundreds of affectees, who pumped millions of rupees in 2005, according to official documents.

“That on the appraisal of material and evidence placed before me, I am satisfied that it is just and proper to proceed further as there is sufficient incrimination material to justify the filing of this reference. It is prayed that the accused (Tariq Fawad Malik and his wife] be tried and punished in accordance with law,” stated Director General NAB Peshwar Brig (retd) Farooq Naser Awan in his latest prayer filed before the NAB court Peshawar in April 2020.

As NAB was all set to arrest Tariq Fawad Malik in 2006-07, he fled to UAE in 2007, sources in NAB Peshawar said. NAB has been pursuing the trial against him in absentia and currently the case is under trial in an accountability court.

Tariq Fawad Malik executed a General Power of Attorney from Dubai in favour of his sister Dr Anees Kausar Malik in January 2010, which was later registered at Sub Registrar office, Islamabad, vide registered deed no 266, according to NAB documents.

Dr Anees Kausar Malik, having conscious knowledge of the freezing order of frozen property, illegally alienated the same vide mutation no 1,599 dated Feb 24, 2010, according to NAB. The then ADP NAB Jameel Khan confirmed to Geo News that Tariq Fawad Malik was facing a NAB reference and matter was still pending with the court. The NAB spokesperson, however, did not offer any comment on this issue to this correspondent. Tariq Fawad Malik did not respond to this correspondent till the filing of this story.