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‘Govt to reprobe Hudaibiya case’

ISLAMABAD: The government Monday decided to go for fresh investigation into the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, being the most important ‘link’ of the Sharif family’s corruption.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who returned from the three-day (May 07-09) visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was given a briefing on the cases pertaining to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and President Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Mian Shehbaz Sharif.

Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted to share the development. “Today, the legal team gave a detailed briefing to Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the cases of Shehbaz Sharif. The government has decided that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case needs a fresh investigation,” he maintained.

In this regard, he pointed out that the agencies concerned were being urged to start the investigation anew, as Hudaibiya case was the most important end of Sharif family corruption. He minister explained that Shehbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif were the main accused in this case.

The method used to send money out in Hudaibiya was later adopted in each case; therefore, it was very important to bring this case to an end, he added. Geo News reports: In response to the development, PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the decision to reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case had proved that PM Imran Khan had admitted that the cases filed against Shehbaz Sharif were "fake".

She said Ashiana, clean water, metros, and assets beyond means cases were based on political revenge. "The Supreme Court had dismissed the Hudaibiya reference," Aurangzeb said.

The PML-N leader slammed the government's spokesperson saying the Lahore High Court had quashed the reference — and the Supreme Court had upheld the judgment. Moreover, PML-N leader Pervaiz Rasheed said top courts had dismissed the case and the government had accepted defeat — that’s why it was reopening the case.

Hudaibiya Paper Mills was allegedly used as a cover by the Sharif family to launder money abroad in the 1990s. It was in relation to this case that the Sharif family's trusted aide, Ishaq Dar, recorded a confessional statement on April 25, 2000, in front of a magistrate in Lahore accepting his role in laundering money.

On the basis of that confession, a reference was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in 2000 with an accountability court against the Hudaibiya Paper Mills, three Sharif brothers, Dar and others.

Dar was not charged, as he had become an approver for the prosecution. The reference was struck down by a referee judge of the LHC on March 11, 2014, in response to a writ petition filed in 2011 stating that Dar's confession was coerced. Dar had claimed that he had made the 'confession' under duress and disowned the statement.