NAB Initiates Reference Against PTI Chairman Imran Khan in £190 Million Scandal

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Pakistan has filed a reference against Imran Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in a scandal involving £190 million. The reference, filed in the accountability court in Islamabad, includes eight individuals, including Imran Khan’s close aides Bushra Bibi, Farah Dogar, Shehzad Akbar, Barrister Zia Mustafa Nizari, and Zulfi Bukhari.

Deputy Prosecutor General Mazhar Abbas, accompanied by investigation officer Mian Umar Nadeem, filed the reference, initiating the scrutiny of the case by the accountability court’s registrar office. The NAB altered the investigative phase to the inquiry process in April of the previous year. On December 2, 2019, Shehzad Akbar submitted a note, revealing that the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom had issued an account freeze order for a property worth £20 million based on the NCA’s request. Subsequently, the NCA obtained an additional freeze order for an account totaling £170 million, bringing the total value of the property in the UK to £190 million.

The reference alleges that in April 2019, Imran Khan received illegal benefits through the Al-Qadir Trust University facilitated by Zulfi Bukhari, which granted him 458 acres of land. When Imran Khan derived these benefits, the Al-Qadir Trust University did not exist, indicating fraudulent intentions behind the transfer of funds in which Imran Khan is implicated.

Furthermore, the reference claims that Imran Khan resorted to dishonesty by concealing information when the Cabinet approved the note in December 2019. Shehzad Akbar and Imran Khan allegedly took advantage of the confidentiality of the transaction, with Shehzad Akbar orchestrating a Dead of Confidentiality in the National Crime Agency.

The reference also reveals that Zulfi Bukhari’s 458 acres of land were transferred in April 2019, costing the Al-Qadir Trust University a total of PKR 285 million, including construction expenses. Farah Dogar, as the frontwoman for Imran Khan, acquired 240 acres of land immediately after becoming a trustee in January 2022.

The NAB asserts that there is evidence against Imran Khan and the other seven accused under the NAB Ordinance for corruption and corrupt practices. The trial court is urged to commence further proceedings against the accused in this £190 million scandal.