PTI leader and former special assistant to the prime minister Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Monday said that he was attacked at his England home, adding that “acidic liquid” was thrown at him.
“Last evening, I was attacked at my address in England (where I am living in exile with my family) by unknown assailant/s who threw acidic liquid at me. Thankfully, my wife and children are safe, however, I sustained some injuries but nothing life-threatening,” Akbar said on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
He added that police and emergency services arrived instantly and his house was now under protection. “I will not be intimidated nor bow down to those who are doing this,” he said without elaborating further.
Akbar was a former special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) during the PTI government. He had left Pakistan soon after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was ousted through a no-confidence motion in April last year. He had reportedly left for Dubai from where he departed for the United Kingdom.
Akbar is a central figure in the Al Qadir Trust case against the PTI chief. The case relates to the alleged illegal acquisition of land and construction of the Al Qadir University involving unlawful benefit given in the recovery of proceeds through the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in a money laundering case against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and his family.
In May, the PTI chief had shifted responsibility on Akbar for making a secret deal with the property tycoon. He had stated that since he was not aware of the settlement between the NCA and Riaz, and relied upon Akbar’s briefing that “the amount was to be repatriated to Pakistan against the liability of respondents [Bahria Town].”
“Shahzad Akbar got the deed of confidentiality approved from the cabinet on Dec 3, 2019. However, I am not aware of any other deed of confidentiality that may have been signed by SAPM Shahzad Akbar on Nov 06, 2019. As regard the allegations that in the deed of confidentiality stately signed on Nov 06, the designated account for adjustment of liability of BTLK was malafiedly intimated to the NCA UK for transfer of funds instead of repatriation of the recovered amount to the State of Pakistan, in order to give and obtain material benefit, I reiterate that I am not aware of any deed of confidentiality… nor was I privy to or have participated in providing any designated account to the NCA for repatriation of the funds from UK to the state of Pakistan,” Imran had said.
Earlier this month, an official source had told Dawn that the government had sought documents, including the “deed of confidentiality” from Akbar about the agreement.
The source said the cabinet division had written a letter to Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi to be delivered to Akbar through the Pakistan High Commissioner in London. Akbar asked to provide five documents, including a copy of the agreement between individuals or entities and the foreign government or agency — in this case, the NCA.
The government claimed these documents were not part of any record available with the Cabinet Division or any other authority. The documents also include the original deed of confidentiality dated November 6, 2019, signed by Akbar as the then SAPM on behalf of the government and the UK court’s order under which the money was seized.
The government also sought an explanation on how the seized money was adjusted against the penalty imposed by the Supreme Court on Bahria Town Ltd Karachi.