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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday questioned and handed over a questionnaire to former minister Faisal Vawda whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) membership was recently terminated in connection with an inquiry regarding the repatriation of funds to Pakistan from the United Kingdom (UK) during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Vawda appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) of the NAB and recorded his statement regarding the ongoing inquiry. The investigation team handed over a questionnaire to Vawda and directed him to submit its written reply within a few days.

The bureau also summoned other cabinet members of the former premier Imran Khan including Sheikh Rashid, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Murad Saeed, Pervaiz Khattak, Shafqat Mehmood, Shireen Mazari, Ali Haider Zaidi, Hammad Azhar, and Asad Umar for the recording of their statements in connection with the inquiry.

According to a summon notice issued to Sheikh Rashid states, the inquiry into the allegations of misuse of authority, financial gains, and criminal breach of trust has revealed that you being cabinet minister attended cabinet meeting on December 3, 2019 held at the Prime Minister’s Office wherein a decision was made titled “Account Freezing Orders and repatriation of funds to Pakistan in Ahmed Ali Riaz, family and Messrs Bahria Town” presented by special assistant to the prime minister on accountability and interior and also directed the cabinet secretary to seal the record, therefore, you are in possession of information/evidence whatsoever, which related to the commission of the said offense.

Talking to reporters outside the NAB office, Vawda said that £190 million was repatriated from a country. It was told in the cabinet that we cannot disclose the details of this amount, there was no debate or discussion held in the cabinet meeting nor were any official documents shown, he said.

He further said that the majority of the cabinet members and Khan approved it but he and Shireen Mazari raised questions over the approval. I think, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry also raised questions regarding the matter, he said, adding that Shahzad Akbar had misled the cabinet.

He also alleged that Akbar must have obtained some “benefit” for proceeding with the “deal”, adding that such things never “happen for free”.“I had earlier said that Shahzad Akbar will leave the country and this happened and the country has suffered a loss of £190 million,” he said.

Vawda said that the JIT asked different questions from him and he answered these questions as per his information. He said that the team also questioned Azam Khan, former principal secretary to the prime minister.

When he was asked if you are going to become an approver against Imran Khan, he said that he did not appear before the NAB to become an approver against Khan.

He said that he neither joined any political party nor has any plan to make a political party. “I have a special relationship with Imran Khan and I do politics under Khan’s ideology”, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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