DR Mubashir Hassan, the finance minister in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s cabinet from 1971 to 1974, said on Monday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family did not send money ‘legally’ to start their business in Dubai during those years.

Talking to a television channel after the Mr Sharif’s speech in parliament, Dr Hassan claimed that “the PM is lying”; they (the Sharifs) were “neither granted permission nor did they seek any”. Although they came to meet him once, he refused.

“In those days it was impossible to send money legally without the State Bank’s approval,” he said.

“If they smuggled money or did money laundering, then it is a different case but they did not get State Bank’s consent for sending money abroad,” said Dr Hassan.

The prime minister had claimed in his speech that in 1972 the then government had nationalised the Ittefaq Foundry ‘without giving (his family) a single penny’ in return for the machines and land or as compensation.

The PM said that during those days his father, like other industrialists and businessmen, went to Dubai and set up the Gulf Steel Mill. The mill was inaugurated by the then ruler of Dubai.

“In April 1980, this mill was sold for 33.37 million dirhams,” said the PM.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2016