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Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 595, 10 May 2023

What is the Al Qadir case?



PTI government lost PKR 60 billion to the national exchequer

Femy Francis

On 14 June 2022, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah accused Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi of allegedly having accepted PKR 50 billion and hundreds of Kanals of land illegally transferred by Bahria Town, a real estate conglomerate owned by Malik Riaz. Additionally, the donations were made to a “non-profit foundation” Al- Qadir Trust planning to establish a university under the two trustees Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. In 2019, the trust received land measuring 458 Kanals and was ratified by Bushra Bibi. The media pointed out the trust record accounted for only PKR 8.25 million while they received PKR 180 million. It is estimated that the PTI government lost PKR 60 billion to the national exchequer in exchange for whitewashing the real estate tycoon's money.
 
In 2019, the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK informed the then-federal government PTI of the Bahria Town illegal transfer of money to a Pakistani national. NCA’s investigation found money laundering and criminal proof against Malik Raiz stating: “The NCA has been granted freezing orders on eight bank accounts containing a total of more than £100 million, which is suspected to have derived from bribery and corruption in an overseas nation. Approximately £20m held by a linked individual was frozen following a hearing in December 2018.” After deliberation, NCA settled for EUR 190 million out-of-court settlement hoping the stolen money reaches the Pakistan government.
 
In 2018 SC approved PKR 460 billion settlement through his real estate firm Bharia Town which was probed for illegally acquiring thousands of acres of land in Malir. The settlement money was transferred to the SC’s account rather than the government of Pakistan’s account. When inquired Special Assistant to PM on Accountability (SAPM) Mirza Shahzad Akbar accused “middle man” expressed that money would reach the government and said: “Is the Supreme Court not part of the government? So if the money goes to the apex court, it means that the money comes to the state.”
 
On 01 December, National Accountability Bureau summoned Malik Riaz and Imran Khan’s beneficiaries to appear for inquiry. They sent notice to 21 members of the PTI cabinet to appear for investigation. Rana Sanuallah after the swift arrest of Imran Khan by the rangers claimed that the probe was linked to the Al Qadir case and that he was rightly acquitted as he is facing a number of similar corruption cases. 
 
References
Hawwa Fazal, “Imran arrest: What is the Al Qadir Trust case?,” Dawn, 9 May 2023
Abid Hussain,“What is Al-Qadir Trust case for which Imran Khan was arrested?,”AlJazeera, 9 May 2023
IK arrested lawfully: Rana Sana,” Business Recorder, 9 May 2023
Syed Irfan Raza, “NAB calls Malik Riaz over £190m settlement,” Dawn, 28 November 2022
Naziha Syed Ali, “Malik Riaz & the art of the deal,” Dawn, 17 April 2021

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