close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
January 21, 2021

NAB-Broadsheet agreementLopsided accord was open-ended, not time-bound, binding on successive NAB chairmen

National

January 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The agreement signed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Broadsheet LLC in June 2000 was open-ended, not time-bound and was to remain in force for an indefinite period until the onerous task assigned to the assets recovery firm was achieved.

The contract between the two parties was also binding on successive NAB chairmen. The document states: “The agreement will operate for the benefit of and be binding on any respective successors in title and permitted assignees of the parties provided that neither party will assign, transfer or part with any rights or interests temporarily or otherwise without the written consent of the other.”

A reading of the agreement shows that the accord was to remain operative for decades. It states that “NAB and Broadsheet agree that both the agreement and the Power of Attorney will remain in force and effect and not be in any way amended, revoked, or modified with respect to all registered claims until either the last of the claims has been settled or litigated and reduced to a final non-appealable judgment and the last of the claims has been either fully collected, paid, settled or abandoned in respect of the concerned party.”

Obviously, this protracted process was going to be spread over several years. The agreement says upon the occurrence of the [listed] events and fulfillment of respective obligations and on payment and receipt of the respective claims/entitlement by the parties, this contract will stand terminated.

Broadsheet was incorporated in the Isle of Man on May 28, 2000. Twenty-three days later, NAB curiously signed this far-reaching agreement with it. It is anybody’s guess how the company had become a specialist in the assets recovery business in such a short period. According to the agreement, it is a “company specializing in the recovery of such assets/missing funds, [and] is ready and willing in exchange for participating in a share of the profits to undertake the tracing, locating and recovery and transfer of such funds and other assets secreted or transferred or removed from Pakistan by such persons and /or entities”.

Broadsheet’s address noted in the contract is: P.O. Box 66. Suite I. Empress House, Empress Drive, Douglas, Isle of Man, lM99 IEE, British Isles a company duly incorporated under the laws of the Isle of Man.

Broadsheet’s work was restricted only to the ‘claims’ registered with it by NAB. The agreement says it will relate to and focus on the persons and/or entities registered by mutual agreement between the two parties and will not apply to any other person or entity not so registered. However, it was also mentioned in the contract that the list may be amended from time to time with the mutual consent of both parties through the addition or deletion of registered names of persons and/or entities.

The agreement said that if during the course of investigation, Broadsheet or NAB is approached by any registered person and/or entities or by any other person on his behalf, such contact will be immediately communicated to NAB or Broadsheet as the case may be. NAB had signed the agreement to recover such funds and other assets wherever they were situated and was willing to issue a mandate to a company that claimed to specialise in the recovery of offshore assets/missing funds on NAB’s behalf.

The contract said that NAB and Broadsheet agree that any assets recovered as a result of the efforts of Broadsheet or as a result of a settlement between NAB and any registered person or entity will be jointly shared as agreed by the two parties. For the removal of any doubt, the share of the assets recovered will also apply to any settlement [plea bargain or voluntary return] reached by NAB and any registered person or entity with or without the involvement of Broadsheet provided that such persons or entity had been registered before the settlement.

The two sides authenticated that they had consulted with their lawyers before signing the agreement. “NAB and Broadsheet confirm that they have consulted with their respective legal advisers before entering into this agreement and that the two parties have done so with the full authority necessary to bind them.”

Back in 2000 when the contract was signed, (the late) Farooq Adam Khan used to be the chief legal brain of NAB. He had also served as the NAB prosecutor general.