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The government justifies the arrest of Asif, shares details of "misdeeds"

 As the opposition continues to protest the arrest of the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Mohammad Asif, the government explained on Saturday that he had been arrested for failing to cooperate with officials involved in valid investigations.

The Prime Minister's Advisor on Accountability, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, said Asif had failed to satisfy the National Accountability Office (NAB).

The government justifies the arrest of Asif, shares details of "misdeeds"

Speaking at a press conference together with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs, Usman Dar, said that Asif had assets worth 5.1 million rupees in 1993 and that the PML-N leader had no proof of the monthly income of Rs 2.2 million it received from the United Arab Emirates.

Akbar said that the PML-N leader claimed that he was given the salary in cash every time he was asked about transfers from his salary account. "Mr. Asif doesn't even have a receipt for payment of his income," he added.

The adviser to the prime minister stated that Mr. Asif started this work when he held the portfolio of the defense minister. He asked the PML-N leader why he was not working in the UAE now, as he was no longer a federal minister.

PM advisor claims PML-N leader is not cooperating with NAB investigators

Akbar said that Asif acted like a magician when he bought a plot in a housing society in Gujranwala in September 2014 for 8 million rupees and sold it to the same housing society for 40 million rupees shortly after a month. He said there was no legitimate reason for the entire episode, but that it was understandable because Asif was a minister at the time.

He said Asif claimed to have sold a plot adjacent to his home in Sialkot for 125 million rupees. According to the deed of sale, the amount was received through a check and an investigation revealed that the serial number of the checkbook was issued three months after the signing of the deed of sale. He claimed that the plot was still in Mr. Asif's possession.

According to the advisor, Tariq Mir and Company, owned by Mr. Asif, says it is involved in the rice export business. The company received an amount of 150 million rupees from Dubai-based Poorvi Enterprises FZE, but rice of that amount was not exported from the country, he added.

Sharing details of the reasons for the physical return, he said that Asif had up to 48 bank accounts in his name and in the name of his family members with transactions of more than Rs 1,400 million.

He said that the defendant had cash deposits of Rs 223 million in his personal bank account, in addition to Rs 140 million in his bank account in Dubai. A financial checking account recorded transactions of more than Rs 500 million from 2007 to 2018, all cash deposits, he added.

Akbar said that many other PML-N leaders adopted the same pattern for the alleged money laundering, including Ishaq Dar and members of the Sharif family.

He said that Mr. Dar had allegedly used the identity of a Bahraini citizen, Siddique, to launder $ 18 million and had accepted that the person's passport had been given to him by Shehbaz Sharif.

He said the Sharif family had allegedly used Chaudhry Sugar Mills for money laundering and the illegal transfer of their shares, using the name of the UAE business magnate Nasser Lootah.

He claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif transferred 800 million rupees to Maryam Nawaz's bank account. There are transactions of billions of rupees on fake accounts. When a public office holder has inexplicable wealth, it means that money has been made from corruption and corrupt practices. "It is a legitimate presumption," he remarked.

Speaking at the occasion, Usman Dar said it was unreasonable for a person with a significant portfolio, such as a defense minister, to work for a foreign-based company.

He said the agreement with the Dubai-based company showed that Asif was required to work eight hours a day for the company on a one-month-a-year leave of absence, proving the work was a sham to justify ill-gotten wealth.

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