Broadsheet revelations ‘tip of the iceberg’:

ISLAMABAD: Commenting over the much-publicised Broadsheet disclosures, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that having been exposed by Broadsheet after Panama Papers, the country’s elites cannot hide behind ‘victimisation’ card on international revelations of their corruption and money laundering.

“Panama Papers exposed our ruling elites corruption & money laundering earlier. Now Broadsheet revelations have again exposed the massive scale of our ruling elites corruption & money laundering,” he said in a series of tweets. He said the international revelations exposed what he had been saying during his 24-year fight against corruption. He viewed that those elites came to power and plundered the country. Moreover, they also did money laundering to stash their ill-gotten gains abroad, safe from domestic prosecution, he went on to say. “They then use their political clout to get NROs. That is how they kept their plundered wealth safe. People of (Pakistan) are biggest losers,” the prime minister remarked.

He said the people were loser because not only their nation’s wealth was stolen by the elites rather their taxpayer money, paid for recovering this wealth, was wasted because of NROs. “These revelations (are) tip of the iceberg. We want complete transparency from Broadsheet on our elites money laundering & on who stopped investigations,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan

The Broadsheet saga is continuing to make headlines in the country as the head of the asset recovery firm has now claimed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif offered them a bribe to abandon the probe against his foreign assets. Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi, in a YouTube interview, said the company had flatly refused the deal offered by a person claiming to be a nephew of Nawaz Sharif, in the year 2012, retorting that the Broadsheet did not negotiate with crooks. “Sharif family has assets not only in the United Kingdom but across the globe,” he said, adding that the Sharif family required plenty of explanation about their resources of amassing these assets.

A day earlier, the premier had formed an inter-ministerial committee after Broadsheet LLC’s Kaveh Moussavi said his firm was influenced by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others and that it had evidence of money laundering by some other Pakistanis. “The cabinet formed an inter-ministerial committee, which will reveal details of the individuals mentioned in the Broadsheet scandal,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz had said, adding that the premier had now decided to make the names public after thorough scrutiny of the available material.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while stressing implementation of e-governance in all federal ministries and divisions including the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) within the next six months, said digitization was key to check corruption and ensure transparency in the system. He was speaking here at the inauguration ceremony E-Bidding, E-Billing and GIS Mapping System under the National Highway Authority (NHA).

Digitalization of land record

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the digitization of land record was vital for assessment of people’s residential requirements and effective planning for the provision of shelter to them.

He was presiding over a weekly meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development.

Naya Pakistan Housing Authority Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Anwar Ali Haider apprised the meeting of the provinces’ performance regarding the provision of data to the Surveyor General of Pakistan with respect to digitization of the land record.

Provincial chief secretaries briefed the meeting in detail about the measures for the provision of data regarding digitization of the land record by the respective provinces.

The prime minister stressed the importance of provision of data, saying the digitization of land record would bring about a significant improvement in the construction sector through better planning and elimination of land mafia.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman, while presenting a comparative review of the tax incentives package, FBR portal and increase in registration of builders and developers, told the meeting that construction activities across the country, especially in Punjab, had significantly increased.