Red notice to be issued to bring back Farah Khan: Attaullah Tarar

Published July 3, 2022
PML-N's Attaullah Tarar and Malik Ahmed Khan address a press conference in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N's Attaullah Tarar and Malik Ahmed Khan address a press conference in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N's Attaullah Tarar on Sunday announced plans for seeking "red warrants" to bring Farhat Shahzadi — also known as Farah Khan and a close aide of PTI chief Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi — back to Pakistan.

A red notice is an international request sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) seeking the arrest and extradition of an individual.

Farah reportedly left the country following Imran's ouster from power. She has since been named in several cases that have been opened against her by investigators.

Just two days ago, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment booked Farah and her mother and arrested two others in a case concerning the allegedly illegal allotment of two industrial plots, measuring 10 acres, to a company owned by her.

The plots were allotted on a subsidised rate offered by the government that was Rs83m but their market value was about Rs600m.

In April, NAB authorised an inquiry against her on allegations of accumulating "illegal assets beyond known sources of income, money laundering, and maintaining various accounts in the name of businesses".

Addressing a press conference in Lahore alongside Punjab Law Minister Malik Ahmed Khan, Tarar took aim at the former premier's wife and played an audio clip featuring an alleged conversation between Bushra Bibi and PTI's social media head Arsalan Khalid, in which the former issues instructions to the latter on labelling political opponents as "traitors".

Tarar said the Ministry of Interior had already been communicated with about the issuance of "red warrants".

He also said Farah had sent him a Rs6 billion legal notice, claiming her name was Farhat Shahzadi and she was wrongly referred to as "Gogi" by him during press talks.

He said Imran should call Farah back to the country if he had a firm belief that she was innocent. "I must say here that Imran is not bringing her back here because she and her husband will become approvers within an hour of their arrest," Tarar claimed.

The PML-N leader accused the former prime minister of committing corruption through Farah, who, he said, was responsible for all "dealings".

Tarar informed the journalists that Farah obtained an industrial plot in Faisalabad Special Economic Zone for Rs83 million against its market value of Rs600m. "Farah, her mother Bushra Khan and (Farah's husband) Ahsan Jamil Gujjar are involved in this deal."

He insisted that the case would not drag for long, saying "it is an open and shut case."

Tarar said a "troika" of Farah, her husband — and Bushra Bibi — would sit together after hours at the Prime Minister's House and "wheel and deal".

"Imran is not an ordinary man. His corruption stories are now surfacing and a lot more will be unearthed in the days to come," Tarar claimed.

He said those calling the former premier frugal and honest "must sit with him and talk about the industrial plot issue", which he said "cannot be justified in any form".

Tarar claimed Imran started "criticising the army once his corruption cases surfaced".

PTI's Shahbaz Gill, in a press conference later, dismissed the alleged audio as "fake", saying the "script" was written by fools.

Shahzadi's counsel Azhar Siddique said legal action was being taken against Tarar's press conference and a defamation suit would be filed soon.

'Provide evidence of institutional backing'

Earlier, Malik Ahmed Khan cast aspersions on the former premier's allegations against the government, saying he must furnish evidence if he had any regarding the alleged backing of institutions to the PML-N.

The PTI chief, in his speech at the Parade Ground yesterday, claimed that rigging could take place during the upcoming by-polls in Punjab as "the umpires" stand on the government's side.

"We have 20 by-elections [coming up] in Punjab. The only way they can win is through rigging. The people are against them, [but] the umpires are with them," he had said. "We have to defeat these thieves despite their umpires."

To this, the Punjab law minister said: "Pakistan is threatened by an internal conspiracy hatched by Imran Khan as we have no threats of an external conspiracy."

Malik accused the former PTI government and Imran Khan of transferring "billions of rupees" from digital media wing accounts to retired servicemen, who according to him, were working for the PTI's social media teams.

He was of the view that Imran will have to be answerable for "every wrong he has committed".

Malik referred to Bushra Bibi as "Pinky Peerni", asking whether it was possible for her to commit financial irregularities with the approval of Imran.

He emphasised that the government would also defeat the PTI in the by-elections in 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly. "We will win at least 19 of the total seats," the PML-N leader claimed.

When asked whether his party still held critical views about the army as they held during the elections, Malik said: "Our criticism of the army was political and it was based on interference in [2018] elections. And we had evidence for it."

In response to another query, the provincial law minister said the allegations of Toshakhana against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif were "baseless". He said any prime minister was entitled to get a vehicle from Toshakana by paying its amount.

According to a reference filed by an accountability court, Nawaz as well as former president and co-chairperson of PPP Asif Ali Zardari had obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of the luxury vehicles. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had alleged that ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Nawaz by "dishonestly" and "illegally" relaxing the procedure for the acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a cabinet division memorandum of 2007.

Malik said Imran would sing praises of army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa when he was in the government. "I can show several interviews of him wherein he is commending the army."

However, when he lost his government due to a no-trust motion, he started 'targeting" Gen Bajwa for "not saving his government", the law minister added. He lashed out at the former PM, saying Imran hurled allegations at all his opponents while he himself "remained involved in corruption".

"He sold watches for Rs180 million and also took along almost all gifts from the Toshkhana," the minister alleged, calling Imran Khan "Tosha Khan".

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