(MANEND NEWS): Former interior minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ally Sheikh Rashid Ahmad distanced himself on Tuesday from the Al-Qadir Trust probe being pursued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister Imran Khan and others.
In a written reply to NAB, which Rashid shared online as well, he claimed that he had been absent from the cabinet meeting where the matter of the trust was taken up and had “no information and evidence” with regards to the issue.
“Furthermore,” he stated, “I was having strained relations with Shahzad Akbar and was not even on talking terms with him.
“I have no evidence or document in my possession with regard to the Al-Qadir Trust case.”
Notably, Rashid is among the three senior members of former premier Imran Khan’s cabinet who have been summoned by NAB today for their alleged involvement in the illegal settlement of 190 million pounds recovered from the United Kingdom.
The other two leaders to have been issued call-up notices in connection to the case are Fawad Chaudhry and Pervaiz Khattak.
Al-Qadir Trust case
Al-Qadir Trust is a non-governmental welfare organization set up by Imran Khan and his present wife, Bushra Watto, in 2018 when he was still in office.
While prime minister, he promoted the trust at official events.
The couple is the sole trustee, according to Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar.
The PTI chief was arrested on May 9 over charges of corruption in connection with the trust.
Later, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah revealed that about £190 million (approximately Rs60 billion) of a “property tycoon” transferred through money laundering were caught in the UK.
The UK government contacted the Pakistani authorities regarding the amount’s return.
He said as per law, the amount belonged to the Pakistani nation and should have been deposited in the national exchequer. “Instead [the then adviser to the prime minister] Shahzad Akbar acting as a front-man, got formed the Al-Qadir Trust under a deal executed by him,” he claimed.
According to the charges, the deposed premier and others allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — £190 million at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the government.
They also face charges of receiving undue benefits in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala in Sohawa to set up the Al-Qadir University.
During the PTI government, Britain’s NCA seized assets worth £190 million of a Pakistani property tycoon in Britain.
The agency said the assets would be passed to the Pakistani government.
It added that the settlement with the property tycoon was “a civil matter, and does not represent a finding of guilt”.
Later, then prime minister Imran acquired approval of the settlement with the Britain’s crime agency from his cabinet on December 3, 2019, without disclosing the details of the confidential agreement.
It was decided that the money would be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.