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Imran questions NAB action sans probe into Bahria owner

Former prime minister Imran Khan, who is currently facing proceedings before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case, expressed doubts about the credibility of the investigation, highlighting
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Former prime minister Imran Khan, who is currently facing proceedings before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case, expressed doubts about the credibility of the investigation, highlighting the accountability watchdog’s failure to take action against Malik Riaz, the owner of Bahria Town.

Imran Khan made these remarks in his response during a call-up, as he and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, attended the proceedings at NAB Rawalpindi’s office. In his written reply, Khan also shifted the responsibility onto his former accountability aide, Shahzad Akbar, for making a secret deal with the property tycoon.

According to Khan’s response, it was a misconception that the recovered amount of £190 million was not deposited in the national treasury. NAB interrogated Khan for approximately four hours and requested him to bring relevant records for the next hearing. Sources revealed that NAB officials found Khan’s response “unsatisfactory.”

Regarding the money received from the UK, Imran Khan stated that it was deposited after conversion into Pakistani Rupees (PKR) in an account opened in the name of the Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan. He questioned why NAB had not taken any punitive measures against the owners of Bahria Town or applied to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for the recovery of the alleged illegitimate amount.

Khan mentioned that he relied on the briefing of Shahzad Akbar regarding the repatriation of the funds to Pakistan against the liability of Bahria Town. He claimed that he was not aware of the settlement between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Malik Riaz.

NAB shared relevant documents with the PTI chairman and directed him to submit the records and details at the next hearing. Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir granted pre-arrest interim bail to Imran Khan in the case until May 31. Khan’s spouse, Bushra Bibi, also sought bail in the same case.

During the court appearance, Imran Khan arrived at the judicial complex along with Bushra Bibi and a few lawyers. Unlike previous instances, there were only a handful of supporters present, as Khan expressed concern for the safety of his party workers.

NAB has alleged in its case against Imran Khan that the PTI government, led by Khan, had reached a deal with Malik Riaz, causing a loss of over $239 million to the national exchequer in a quid pro quo arrangement with the real estate business.

In December 2019, the UK’s National Crime Agency accepted a settlement offer of £190 million, which included a UK property—1 Hyde Park Place, London. The funds were frozen in Malik Riaz’s accounts.

In addition, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) extended pre-arrest bail to Imran Khan in eight cases related to violence during his appearance in the judicial complex on March 18 and February 28.

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