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Thursday December 02, 2021

Decision to reprobe Hudaibiya based on new evidence: Fawad

The minister said Hudaibyia was a story of fraud of about Rs1,242 million, which was bigger than the Panama papers case in terms of volume, and it started in 2000.

May 12, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said a decision to reinvestigate the Hudaibyia Paper Mills case was made in the light of emergence of new evidence.

He said the judge who had decided to close the case in 2014, also owned assets abroad, according to the Panama disclosures. The minister said Hudaibyia was a story of fraud of about Rs1,242 million, which was bigger than the Panama papers case in terms of volume, and it started in 2000.

The minister took to his official Twitter account to explain how did he see the case and how it went through various phases. He writes, “What is the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case and how did it get started?

“The Hudaibiya Paper Mills case is a story of fraud of about Rs1,242 million, which is bigger than the Panama Papers case in terms of volume, and it started in the year 2000”.

He noted that when National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials filed a reference against Hudaibiya Papers: Nawaz Sharif's two sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif and his political heir Hamza Shahbaz were also its main characters.

The minister continued that Ishaq Dar opened fake anonymous foreign currency accounts to support the Sharif family in this fraud and when he was caught, he promised to be an approver and he also recorded his detailed statement to the authorities concerned. But, he pointed out, later Dar deviated from his statement by saying that the statement was extracted from him under duress. “What a wonderful way to screw people over,” he remarked.

The company, which had a pre-investment volume of just Rs95.7 million and a gross loss of Rs809.834 million, was concerned about the arrival of such huge sums of money. NAB, therefore, issued orders to investigate the matter under the 1999 NAB Ordinance.

Investigations, he said, have revealed that the mills management, which consists of Mian Muhammad Sharif, Shamim Akhtar, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Maryam Safdar, Sabiha Abbas, Hussain Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz, has a huge amount of illicit capital in its coffers and was unable to disclose their sources of wealth.

They fraudulently opened various fake foreign currency accounts using various provisions of the Protection of Economic Reforms Act of 1992 for money laundering and deposited a lot of money in these accounts, he said and noted when the scandal of fake accounts broke out, they decided to put the money directly into the accounts of Hudaibiya Paper Mills.

“To this end, they arranged telegraphic transfers (TTs) of different dollars equal to the value of the foreign currency for the accounts of this mill. Just like the money of Shahbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz was sent out of Pakistan while Rs1,242.732 million suddenly went into the assets of the Sharif family. This amount was even bigger than the Panama scandal,” he added.

NAB also pointed out that through these incidents, the minister explained that these nominees of the Sharif family have not only committed crimes such as money laundering and concealment of assets, but they have also committed the crime of throwing dust in the eyes of many state institutions.

During the Musharraf era, when the matter came before the accountability court, it was during the case that the Sharif family made a deal with the Musharraf government and went to Saudi Arabia. The issue was raised again in 2008, but the PPP and N-League's collusion stopped the case. It was said that the case could not proceed.

“When the Sharif family challenged the action before the Lahore High Court, a two-member division bench gave a divided verdict. “The case went to the referee, who ruled in favour of the division bench judge's decision to close the case, and the case was closed in 2014. “Interestingly, after such a detailed investigation, the case did not go to the court for a single day.

“The judge, who decided to close the case, according to the Panama scandal revelations, also owned assets abroad. However, unfortunately no action was taken against him,” he noted. The minister said that in this case, some new facts have also come to the fore on which a new investigation has been decided. It is hoped that the judiciary would also take action against those judges who supported the Sharif family. Justice demands that all institutions should play their part. He maintained that Pakistan's future depended on the rule of law.