Islamabad (Web Desk): The Pakistan High Commission (PHC) in London made a payment of $28.706 million (Rs4.59 billion) to the British firm Broadsheet LLC years after it was hired to trace alleged foreign assets of dozens of Pakistanis.
The amount was transferred from the PHC on behalf of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the assets recovery firm.
The Washington-based firm that is owed money by the NAB during former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s government in 2003 to trace assets in the UK and USA of more than 200 Pakistanis (called ‘targets’ in the contract) including generals, politicians, businessmen — Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif as the chief targets.
A high court in the United Kingdom has ordered a debit of $28.7 million from the accounts of the PHC in London over non-payment of penalty by NAB to the foreign firm.
The arbitrator found that Pakistan and NAB had wrongfully repudiated an asset recovery agreement with Broadsheet and ruled that the company is entitled to damages.
According to its lawyer, the company’s services were sought by Gen Musharraf to hunt down overseas properties owned by the Sharifs and other government officials.
Broadsheet’s services were terminated in 2003 by NAB, but the company says that it learnt that the accountability body struck a deal with the Sharifs which allowed them to live in self-exile in Saudi Arabia, and filed a claim on the settlement.