News Desk |
Zulfi Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for overseas Pakistanis says that NAB already has all records of his off-shore companies and that the rhetoric of him not cooperating is untrue. He made these comments while talking to Dr. Moeed Pirzada in the programme ‘live with Moeed Pirzada’ on GNN.
Upon the resignation of NAB’s appointed prosecutor on his case, he maintained that he did not know Imran Shafique and his cause of resignation, but a certain media quarter had associated the two isolated matters to frame a narrative.
Mr. Bukhari also elaborated his selection as Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis. “It is the discretion of the Prime Minister to appoint members of his team.
“I do not have the power to influence any official of NAB; I have not even been able to get my name off the exit control list. A certain quarter of the media presented this allegation for a few hours. Mr. Shafiq resigned citing personal reasons which may have been pertaining to a raise”, the Special Assistant said.
Upon a question of PM Khan’s ‘favour for a personal friend” on his appointment and that the Prime Minister defended him on national television, Mr. Bukhari clarified that the Prime Minister defended himself, “the PM has never done any personal favors to anyone, even in the matters of his hospital Shaukat Khanam. That’s what the Prime Minister said in his statement. He did not praise or defend me”.
The prime minister had earlier in an interview lamented the CJP using the word ‘nepotism’ regarding the appointment of Bukhari. Justice Nisar had remarked that “nepotism should not be seen” while appointing individuals on senior positions, questioning the merit behind the selection of the British-Pakistani for the post.
The CJP expressed displeasure over PM Khan’s remarks: “The court will use the word nepotism 20 times if there is a proven allegation”. The CJP further said that it was the Judiciary’s duty to improve federal structures.
Mr. Bukhari also elaborated his selection as Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis. “It is the discretion of the Prime Minister to appoint members of his team. It has nothing to do with having a qualification. If there were a qualification, I’d get one to qualify myself”. He said that the Prime Minister deemed him relevant and resourceful in terms of overseas diaspora affairs.
“I am here to face NAB. NAB never called me till I filed a petition in high court against NAB to remove my name from exit control list of the interior ministry.”
He further added that ‘his portfolio is different from federal ministers because ministers belong to the federal cabinet but he does not. He only participates in the cabinet meetings on the invitation of the Prime Minister’. He also said that federal ministers can go to the national assembly but he cannot. He does not receive pays and privileges like ministers.
When asked about his businesses in London, Zulfi Bukhari said that his business and companies should not be a concern of NAB because they have earned money in England and invested there. He said that his father’s appointment in the interim government of 2007 had nothing to do with his businesses, as his companies were established in 2006.
Mr. Bukhari is also known to have six offshore companies named Abbas Investments Limited, Abbas Financial Holdings Limited, Malek El-Sayed Law and Consultation Inc., Abbas Investments Ltd, Abbas Ltd, and Al Bukhari Global Equity Fund. Not only these, but he also owns a shopping mall and a 7-star hotel in central London.
Read more: Zulfi Bukhari case: “PM is not all powerful”
He further told Dr. Moeed about the status of the case, which is pending in NAB that he is cooperating with NAB and he is not an absconder and ready to further cooperate with institutions. “I am here to face NAB. NAB never called me till I filed a petition in high court against NAB to remove my name from exit control list of the interior ministry.”