Byline: Kalbe Ali
ISLAMABAD -- The government revealed on Sunday that authorities had traced several bank TTs (telegraphic transfers) used by the Sharif family for money laundering.
At a hurriedly called press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry alleged that if there was one family that had marked the beginning of modern-day corruption in Pakistan, 'it is the Sharif family' while the Zardaris carried it forward to new heights.
Flanked by Hammad Azhar, minister of state for revenue, and Shahzad Akbar, special assistant to prime minister on accountability with the status of minister of state, Mr Chaudhry alleged that 200 bank TTs related to the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had been traced.
'Seventy persons have been identified in this regard,' the information minister said and showed the copies of bank documents related to money transfers in dollars and UAE dirhams.
Aide to PM says transactions were made before legislation to curb such practices
The details of the alleged money trail were presented to media showing that the two political families had been instrumental in siphoning off ill-gotten money from the country and part of it was invested back in the country through various accounts.
Shahzad Akbar said: 'Nusrat Shahbaz [wife of Shahbaz Sharif] has received millions of dollars through the TT transactions and this is why she is under investigation.'
He said all banking transactions were conducted before 2008 when the anti-money laundering law was not enacted in the country.
Mr Akbar said Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz had not answered a single query put by the National Accountability Bureau, but he was issuing misleading statements through the media.
Just before the start of the press conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted a quote from Frederic Bastiat, a French economist, writer and prominent member of the French Liberal School: 'When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.'
'The truth of this saying is reflected clearly in the way money launderers are treated and the way they behave with indignation when questioned,' Mr Khan added.
At the news conference, the information minister claimed that from the end of 1988 to the beginning of 1990, the Sharifs had accumulated a lot of wealth, but the challenge for them was its...