ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet is scheduled to give a nod on Tuesday (today) to payment of salary and allowances to the Broadsheet commission chairman, retired Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.
As per its meeting’s agenda the cabinet will discuss “Payment of salary and allowances to member/chairman Commission of Inquiry on Broadsheet Award and other International Cases”.
Despite opposition’s resistance, the federal government had appointed Justice Saeed as head of the one-man commission.
The Broadsheet LLC was incorporated in the Isle of Man to help Pervez Musharraf’s government and the newly established National Accountability Bureau (NAB) track down foreign assets purchased by Pakistanis through ill-gotten wealth.
Justice Azmat Saeed heads one-man commission
After NAB terminated the contract in 2003, the Broadsheet LLC and another company involved as a third party filed for damages in a United Kingdom court.
They claimed that Pakistan owed them money according to the terms agreed upon since the government was taking action to confiscate some of the assets they had identified, including the Avenfield property owned by the family of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The companies’ claims against Pakistan were held valid by an arbitration court in 2016 and later by a UK high court that gave an award of over $28 million against Pakistan last year.
The Broadsheet LLC arbitration decision came the same year when the Panama Papers had rocked Pakistan. However, nobody knew about it until a UK court ordered authorities to deduct $28.7m from Pakistan High Commission’s account in London.
The Broadsheet commission has so far recorded statements of four former NAB chairmen, former deputy high commissioner in London, former joint secretary of the ministry of Law and justice and a few other officers/persons, who were associated with the Broadhseet matter.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2021