Asif announces probe in disbursement of £150m remitted by UK’s NCA

ISLAMABAD   –  Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday announced on the floor of National Assembly that the government would investigate disbursement of the amount of £140-50 million remitted by the Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) recovered in a money-laundering case, during the tenure of previous regime.

Speaking on a point of order, he said, following the fine/recovery in the money-laundering case, the UK government had banned entry of the accused for 10 years and cancelled their visas. “It was public money in my view… it was a fine amount but adjusted in an account… the cabinet division’s record says that its details have not been shared. A sealed letter was shown in a meeting of the Federal Cabinet [previous government’s] for its approval that was not even on the agenda,” he said.

Khawaja Asif said the incumbent government would unfold details of the sealed-letter. The minister said it was around Rs 45 billion that was ‘facilitated,’ adding it was an unexplained wealth that had been deposited in the national exchequer. The remitted amount, he said, was adjusted in the National Bank of Pakistan’s branch located at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was returned to the government of Pakistan for social welfare services.” He said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had shown this amount in its recovery, adding the watchdog only recovered illegal money. “The recovered money is meant to be deposited in the national exchequer, not in their [accused] accounts.

He said “Now, we are investigating it . . . I have all the details and will present them in the National Assembly. We are taking up the issue with the British government, asking it to declare who is the beneficiary of the remitted amount.” Khawaja Asif said it was the story of only one crime committed by Imran Khan, adding there were a dozen of such crimes carried out by the former prime minister and his allies in different sectors like medicines, sugar, wheat, port and shipping. The minister vowed that the coalition govt would pursue the matter of remitted amount as there seemed something very fishy.

Earlier, the lawmakers from opposition benches once again raised the matter of electing leader of opposition in the National Assembly. “The house is incomplete, as the house has been running without an opposition leader in the National Assembly for the last one month,” said a GDA MNA Ghous Bux Mehar, on a point of order. Responding to queries of MNA Ghous Bux Mahar, he assured that the matters related to appointment of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee would be settled soon.

About power outages in the country, Minister for Power Khurrum Dastagir Khan said 21,500 megawatt of electricity was produced on Monday, which is more than country’s demand. “Government believes in providing electricity to all the provinces without any discrimination,” he said, responding to a call attention notice about unannounced power load-shedding in Balochistan.

“There is a zero load-shedding on feeders with 80 percent recovery and less losses,” he said, ensuring maximum electricity to Balochistan. He urged members of the House to convey the concerned quarters if they find any unscheduled load-shedding. About the decisions to reduce power outages in the country, he said directions have already been given to the distribution companies that electricity should not be disrupted on technical grounds.

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