CURIOUS CASE OF ZULFI BUKHARI, A MYSTERIOUS CLOSE FRIEND OF PRIME MINISTER IMRAN KHAN

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant and State Minister Zulfiqar Bukhari has failed to give money trail for offshore companies, London properties and businesses to National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The official records indicate that initial fortunes of Zulfi Bukhari’s family were made by his father and uncle through criminal activities of heinous nature involving human smuggling of Pakistanis. The human smuggling case came to light when a few Pakistanis sent abroad by Al-Murtaza Associates -a company run by Wajid Bukhari, were killed under mysterious circumstances in Libya. 2300 of people brought back from Libya who were allegedly smuggled from Pakistan to Libya for Political and Militant purposes on order of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Zulfi Bukhari’s father, Syed Wajid Hussain Bukhari and his real uncle Syed Manzoor Hussain Bukhari, were convicted to 14 years imprisonment and orders for confiscation of their properties were given in a human smuggling case FIR No161/82 dated 3/11/1982 under sections 420, 468,471, 277 MLO, FIA Passport Cell Rawalpindi.

The case file of Bukhari family reveals shocking facts which resulted in their conviction and orders for confiscation of moveable and immovable property by Military Court No 32 of Rawalpindi on 8thAugust 1984.

Documents tracked by Current Affairs Pakistan reveal that when the human smuggling case was being investigated and subsequently tried against Wajid Bukhari, the family transferred the money to UK and bought properties in the years from 1981-1984.

UK Land registry documents indicate that at least two companies, Masouma Investment Company Limited and Sakina Investment Limited, formed by Wajid Bukhari in the name of his daughters Masouma Bukhari and Sakina Bukhari, bought expensive real estate in London in the years 1981, 1983 and 1984 – years coinciding to trial and conviction in human smuggling case.

The names of Zulfi Bukhari and his sisters Masouma Bukhari and Sakina Bukhari were also revealed in Panama Papers in 2016 and linked to offshore companies including K-Factor Limited, Bradbury Resources Limited, Baytek Limited.

NAB’s first notice No: NAB2018011811018/Inq/IW-2 to Zulfiqar Bukhari on February 20, 2018 stated that the “competent authority has taken cognizance of an offence committed by you under the provisions of NAO 1999” and that “the inquiry regarding ownership/setting up of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands named in the Panama Papers has revealed that you are in possession of information/evidence whatsoever, which related to the commission of the said offence.”

Subsequently, Zulfi’s father, Wajid Bukhari was also called by NAB Rawalpindi and asked about the money trail for properties and businesses in UK and Pakistan. Both father and son have failed to provide the money trail so far.

Sources within NAB Rawalpindi say that despite failure of Zulfi Bukhari and his father to provide money trail and passage of the deadline for filing a reference within ten months set by Chairman NAB, the curious case of Prime Minister’s friend has not moved beyond inquiry stage.

NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Accountability body requiring officers to complete inquiry and investigations within nine months and file a reference before Accountability Court within ten months.

“Zulfi’s father, Wajid Bukhari, met a few powerful people in PM’s Secretariat, NAB and in Rawalpindi to personally request that Zulfi Bukhari should not be arrested,” said a source in NAB’s Rawalpindi office.

NAB’s Rawalpindi office is headed by Nawaz Sharif family JIT fame Director General Irfan Mangi whose investigation officers have shown extra leniency in the case of the PM’s friend.

In the case of the Prime Ministers Special Assistant/State Minister and friend Zulfi Bukhari, NAB Rawalpindi has apparently not only put the file on the back burner but also provided a rare relief to the accused after formation of the PTI government.

NAB in a rare gesture of leniency, as revealed by its letter dated 5thOctober 2018, allowed one-time exemption to Mr Zulfiqar Bukhari to leave Pakistan. This despite the fact that an inquiry is still pending against him and the documents related to the companies and properties could be changed.

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