Navaid H. Malik, a well-known businessman, has strongly denied the allegations made against him in the Wall Street Journal and subsequently published in the daily Dawn of October 18, 2018 under the caption: “Abraaj founder sought to buy influence with Sharifs, says WSJ”. In particular, he has denied ever asking the Abraaj Group for any money or receiving any money to be paid to any politician for expediting the sale of K-Electric.
Mr Malik stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Mr Arif Naqvi, Chairman Abraaj Group with a team of Shanghai Electric (prospective buyers of K-Electric). According to Mr Malik, in that meeting Mr Sharif was requested to intervene in expediting the sale of K-Electric and Mr Sharif unequivocally stated that in any such transaction the interests of the Government of Pakistan must be protected, transparency ensured and no short cuts permitted. Mr Malik stated that he was not aware of any meeting ever between Shahbaz Sharif and Mr Naqvi or any other member of the senior management of Abraaj Group. He stated that almost three years have passed since this meeting and it is a matter of public knowledge that K-Electric’s sale has not materialised.
Mr Malik stated that his legal team intends to sue Wall Street Journal and others for publishing and circulating libellous material against him.
The news report carried by Dawn was largely based on the report published by the Wall Street Journal and not its own reporting. We note the original report published by Wall Street Journal does not state that Mr Malik had asked Abraaj Group for USD 20 million to be paid to the Sharifs nor does it state that such monies had been paid to him. Any impression to this effect that may have been created by Dawn’s news report is regretted.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018
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