NAB seeks Al-Qadir Trust records in Bahria Town’s Rawalpindi office raid

CCTV footage displays the NAB team conducting a raid at the well-known housing society Bahria Town’s office in Rawalpindi. — Screengrab

RAWALPINDI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) conducted a raid on Bahria Town’s office in Rawalpindi on Monday “in connection with Al-Qadir Trust University case,” sources informed.

The sources indicated that the anti-corruption watchdog’s team carried out the operation to “locate records of Al-Qadir Trust University” at Bahria Town’s Rawalpindi office. It was also reported that the Punjab police and elite force’s teams were present during the raid.

It is pertinent to note that Al-Qadir Trust University is linked to a high-profile case involving the incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement reference.

Reacting to the raid, Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz Hussain stated on X, formerly Twitter, that he would face all challenges and not turn “an approver.”

NAB seeks Al-Qadir Trust records in Bahria Towns Rawalpindi office raid
— X/@MalikRiaz_

The sources also disclosed that the anti-graft watchdog initiated an inquiry into alleged irregularities against Bahria Town.

An investigation has commenced into the “land acquired for Bahria Enclave’s project on a plot designated for a zoo.”

What is Al-Qadir Trust case?

The PTI chairman is facing corruption accusations amounting to billions of rupees in a case that also implicates the property tycoon. Khan — together with his spouse Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders — are subjects of a NAB investigation related to a settlement between the PTI administration and the property magnate, which reportedly resulted in a loss of £190 million to the national treasury.

According to the charges, Khan and the other defendants allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — £190 million at that time — sent by Britain’s NCA to the Pakistani administration as part of the settlement with the property heavyweight. They are also accused of gaining illicit favors in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.

During the PTI regime, the NCA confiscated assets valuing 190 million pounds from the property magnate in Britain. The agency declared that the assets would be transferred to the Pakistani government and the settlement with the Pakistani property tycoon was “a civil issue, and does not imply guilt”.

Subsequently, then-prime minister Khan secured approval for the settlement with the UK crime agency from his cabinet on December 3, 2019, without revealing the details of the confidential agreement. It was decided that the funds would be submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the tycoon.

Following this, the Al-Qadir Trust was established in Islamabad a few weeks after the PTI-led government approved the settlement with the property magnate. Zulfi Bukhari, Babar Awan, Bushra Bibi, and her close ally Farah Khan were appointed as members of the trust.

Two to three months after the cabinet’s endorsement, the property magnate transferred 458 canals of land to Bukhari, a close associate of the PTI chief, which he later transferred to the trust. Subsequently, Bukhari and Awan resigned as trustees. The trust is now registered under the names of Khan, Bushra Bibi, and Farah.

NAB officials were earlier examining the alleged misuse of authority in the recovery process of “illicit funds” received from the UK crime agency.

After “compelling evidence” emerged in the case, the inquiry was converted into a formal investigation. According to NAB officials, Khan and his spouse acquired land worth billions of rupees from the property magnate to develop an educational institute, in return for securing a deal to provide legal cover to the property magnate’s illicit funds remitted from the UK crime agency.

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