PM calls for inquiry into NAB probe on Nawaz ‘laundering’ $4.9bn to India

ISLAMABAD: While criticising the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for money-laundering probe against Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday asked the National Assembly to constitute a committee, summon NAB chairman and investigate Mr. Sharif’s alleged involvement in sending $4.9 billion to India.

The prime minister while addressing the National Assembly asked the House to constitute a committee in this regard. The premier in his tirade alleged that the institution [NAB] has overstepped its domain.

Mr. Abbasi said the country would not function if the institutions work in this way, he added, pointing out that the National Assembly still has time to amend the NAB laws.

Taking notice of a newspaper article based on a ‘flawed’ report of the World Bank, NAB has started verification whether former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was involved in sending $4.9 billion to India.

While the World Bank promptly responded to the NAB move and stated that “the report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals”, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the estimates showed in the WB report were based on “assumptions” which did not reflect the reality.

Soon after the SBP’s clarification, NAB issued a brief statement and questioned: “If the World Bank report is not correct, why they have not changed the figure of 4.9 billion dollars from Pakistan in its report?”

The WB’s assessment was called a “flawed” one because those who migrated from India and became Pakistan citizens after 1947 did not send back remittances.

A WB spokesman said: “We would also like to refer to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan which rejects estimates of $4.9 billion in remittances from Pakistan to India on Sept 21, 2016.”

NAB launched the probe against Mr. Sharif after the World Bank’s migration and remittance book released in September 2016 carried information that foreign exchange reserves of India increased by $4.9 billion after receiving the huge amount sent through money laundering, inflicting losses to Pakistan’s national kitty.

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