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WHO HELPED IN PAYMENT OF $32 MILLION TO BROADSHEET? by Arshad Sharif,The Reporter’s Diary

WHO HELPED IN PAYMENT OF $32 MILLION TO BROADSHEET?

AN INSIDER’S CONMAN JOB!

By

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ARSHAD SHARIF

 –

 January 15, 2021

The Reporter’s Diary

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Islamabad, January 15:  Successive governments and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) made questionable payments of atleast US $32 Million to different companies in Broadsheet scam from 2008 till now without challenging the re-instatement of companies which were dissolved in 2007. 

Government of Pakistan (GoP) also paid millions of dollars as fees to the lawyers in addition to the US$32 Million questionable payments to Broadsheet which had links to a few important people in Pakistani power corridors. How many million dollars have been paid to lawyers internationally and locally by GoP and NAB remains a well-guarded secret in the scam.

“I had been requesting the relevant people to challenge the re-instatement order of Broadsheet in Isle of Man but no one was interested,” said a well-placed source, adding, “unless the money is distributed, how will people get their share.”

Disbursement of atleast US $32 Million include payment of US $1.5 Million to Broadsheet, $2.2 to International Asset Recovery (IAR) and US$ 28 Million to reinstated Broadsheet.

“In addition to US$1,500,000 paid to or to order of Mr. James under the Settlement Agreement, NAB paid US$2,250,000 in settlement of the claims by IAR, also in about 2008,” reads an order of settlement in the case.

The first tranche of questionable payments were made when Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was in power, Navid Ahsan was Chairman NAB and Sardar Latif Khosa was Attorney General of Pakistan.

Sardar Latif Khosa later represented Broadsheet LLC in Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2018 to seek access to Volume 10 of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report to be used to assess the quantum of damages sought in the international arbitration.

Who actually owns Broadsheet LLC, an offshore company, is a question which has baffled Pakistani officialdom. The multi-million dollar question finds mention in a communication sent by Broadsheet’s lawyers, Crowell & Moring LLP, to Pakistani authorities in March 2019 in the following words”

Zafar Ali, QC

“Mr. Ali informed Mr. Moussavi that people in Pakistan wanted to “know who he is” after dealing with him for years, and whether Broadsheet was being funded by Zardari and the Bhutto Family. Mr. Moussavi told Mr. Ali that was nonsense, that he had no connection whatsoever with Zardari, and never would, and that in his view Mr.Ali was being pushed aside by others in Pakistan eager to pursue the Sharif funds in Singapore for themselves.”

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently ordered an investigation to find how the Broadsheet case was mishandled by previous governments resulting in penalty of millions of dollars against Pakistan.

It is surprising that settlement was made with Broadsheet without due diligence by GoP and NAB in 2008 despite the fact that the company was dissolved in April 2007. The fact finds mention in the settlement order in following words:

“In April 2007, when Broadsheet (IoM) was formally dissolved, negotiations were in progress between NAB, represented by their lawyer, Mr. Soofi, and Mr. James’s former associates representing another company, IAR, which had made an agreement similar to the ARA (but relating to other parts of the World) in 2000 at about the same time as he entered into the ARA on behalf of Broadsheet. 

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In addition, Mr. James began to negotiate a Settlement Agreement with NAB represented by Mr. Soofi representing that he, Mr. James, was authorised to represent Broadsheet, notwithstanding (and without disclosing) that the company was in liquidation and was recently formally dissolved.

His purpose in doing this can readily be inferred from the facts that at about this time he formed a new Colorado company, also called Broadsheet, which he represented was a successor to Broadsheet IoM. When the Settlement Agreement was signed on 20 May 2008 it provided that NAB would make payments totaling US$1,500,000, in settlement of claims made under the ARA, not to Broadsheet IoM or its Liquidator but to Broadsheet Colorado which Mr. James controlled and in effect to him personally. When these facts became known to Mr. Moussavi, he took steps to have the dissolution of Broadsheet set aside. A new Liquidator was appointed who has authorised these arbitration proceedings against NAB (Notice of Arbitration was given on 23 October 2009). 

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Naveed Ahsan, Former Chairman NABThe Settlement Agreement was authorised for NAB by an executive decision in which Mr. Soofi was not involved. There is no evidence as to who the decision makers were. The Governor of NAB at that time was Mr. Ahsan.”

The settlement order gives details about dissolution of Broadsheet, raising fundamental question why re-instatement was not challenged in Isle of Man either by GoP or NAB.

“When the ARA terminated in Oct./Dec.2003, Broadsheet was a trading company registered in the Isle of Man. Mr. James was its executive chairman and controlling shareholder. Mr. Tisdale was involved in its affairs by virtue of being Mr. James’s legal adviser, and Mr. Tariq Fawad Malik effectively was its local representative in Pakistan. On 19 May 2003, the company’s former legal adviser in Jersey obtained a default judgment for outstanding fees in the sum of about £29,000 (“the Sinel judgement”). On 1 April 2004 the Sinel judgment was registered against Broadsheet in the Isle of Man. Winding-up proceedings against the Company based on non-payment of the judgment debt were commenced in the Isle of Man in February 2005 and a Winding-up Order was made on 2-7 March 2005. On 2 April 2007 the company was formally dissolved. Meanwhile, Mr. James remained active in business and/or financial affairs in the USA. On 4 January 2005 he purported to assign to a Colorado company, Steeplechase Financial Services LLC, “all his right, title and interest in … connection with [the ARA]” signing the Assignment as chairman of Broadsheet and ‘Manager’ of Broadsheet. He did not notify NAB of the Assignment nor did he communicate with the Liquidator who was appointed in the Isle of Man shortly afterwards, in February/March 2005.”

Interestingly enough, when the questionable payments were made a year later to a company dissolved in 2007, the damage claims were again accepted in 2009. 

Second payment of atleast US $28 million was facilitated in December 2020 when Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf led by Prime Minister Imran Khan was in office.

A senior government official with knowledge of the case said a number of questions need to be answered as to who facilitated payments to Broadsheet once again in December 2020 when clear instructions were given by Attorney General office to keep “bare minimum” cash in accounts of Pakistani missions abroad.

Public Accounts Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee of National Assembly of Pakistan have ordered probe in the broadsheet scam.

Answers to a few of the following questions can expose a few characters who facilitated payment of atleast US $28 million to Broadsheet through Pakistan High Commission bank account in London:

 1. Why such a big amount was lying in Pakistan High Commission’s account when arbitration was ongoing and instructions were passed to keep bare minimum cash in bank accounts for official use?

2. When the amount of US $28 million was transferred to High Commission’s account and for what purpose? Who authorized transfer of funds to account of High Commission?

3. What had been the average Monthly balance in High Commission’s account during last 36 months?

4. How Broadsheet came to know about huge balance in High Commission’s account and specific account number to ensure implementation of damages claim?

5. Why diplomatic immunity was not invoked and if invoked at what stage and when?

6. Does it prima facie not seem an arranged and corroborative move to facilitate Broadsheet to recover the money?

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Last Minute Corruption

LETTER TO EDITOR

March 17th, 2013

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Last Minute Corruption

 

Whereas the ruling thugs and luteras and the corrupt and dishonest politicians are jubilating and felicitating each other over the completion of their 5 year term, the common man in the street is grateful to the Almighty for the good riddance wishing it never to return.  Apart from many other startling last minute corruptions – some of them mega ones –  that the departing rulers indulged into, suffice it would be to cite only one example of the kind of havoc they had been playing  with the nation and the national exchequer. 


Seventy (70) CNG stations were reportedly sanctioned by the govt. on the very last day and during the dying moments of their rule !!  Could someone have done it without minting millions from the allottees.

Bhagte chor ki langoti sahi”, how aptly it applies to them and their stinking character?!! Corrupt to the marrow of their bones and corruption to the last minute of their being in power?!  Raja Sahib had every reason to thank Allah (swt) for giving him the opportunity of being the PM of this hapless nation and addressing it so.

 Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Rawalpindi 
Pakistan
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

 

 

 

 

 

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A year on, Afghan ‘girl-in-green’ revisits Ashura massacre site

 In a brave gesture of defiance against suicide bombers, Afghanistan’s “girl-in-green” on Saturday revisited the scene of a Shiite Muslim holy-day massacre that made her image world famous.Tarana Akbari,now 13, was pictured screaming in horror among piles of bodies moments after a suicide bomber killed 80 people at last year’s Ashura day ceremonies at a Shiite shrine in Kabul.

On Saturday, dressed in an identical green satin tunic which she made herself after discarding the bloodstained one she wore last year, Tarana attended Ashura day ceremonies at the same shrine.

The day before, police announced that they had arrested two Taliban insurgents with suicide vests who planned to attack the Shiite worshippers.

“I’m not scared,” Tarana told AFP as she sat with her sisters in their spartan home in Old Kabul ahead of the ceremony. “I know there will be danger but I will go back there anyway.

“After the shrine I will go to the graveyard to pray for my brother who died and other members of the family.”

Tarana’s only brother — aged nine — was among many of her relatives killed in last year’s blast, and Tarana and her two sisters were wounded. She was the only one of the children who went back.

Despite her brave words, Tarana wrung her hands anxiously and the mood in her home was more one of preparing to go into battle than attend a religious ceremony.

But her spirits lifted and her shy smile returned with the excitement of dressing up in her new clothes before she set out hand-in-hand with her father, Ahmad Shah, for the 10-minute walk to the shrine.

It is a place that haunts her nightmares.
afghan_girl_massacre_ashura_pullitzer_295.jpgThe image, taken by AFP photographer Massoud Hossaini, was splashed on front pages worldwide and won the Pulitzer prize this year.

“I go back to that place in my dreams. I see my brother and the man (the bomber). I always repeat that scene in my dreams,” Tarana said.

Security was tight, with many streets blocked off and heavily armed police on rooftops and along the approach roads, and even Tarana was frisked before being allowed into the ceremonies.

Once among the throng of worshippers, including young men whipping their bare backs into a bloody mess in a traditional mourning ritual, Tarana’s step faltered and she and her father stopped in a small sheltered spot.

A plastic chair was found and she sat quietly, tension showing in her face and her brown eyes growing increasingly sad with each passing minute.

After half an hour, she and her father, having shown their refusal to be cowed by suicide bombers, left to visit the graves of her brother and other relatives on a bare and bleak hillside overlooking the city.

When the Sunni Muslim Taliban ruled in the 1990s before being ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001, minority Shiites suffered brutal persecution, but sectarian violence has been rare in recent years.

Shiites, who make up roughly 20 percent of the Afghan population, were effectively banned from marking Ashura in public under the Taliban.

Ashura commemorates the killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), near Karbala by armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

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US Using Bad Info for Drone Strikes Like It Did for Detainees

November 24, 2012

Just as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq, the CIA and U.S. military act on bad intel when designating targets for drone attacks.

As when the United States greased the skids for war with Iraq, it’s ratcheting up tensions with Iran by disseminating misinformation about nuclear weapons. The United States has also failed to learn from other mistakes in the Iraq, as well as Afghanistan.

Remember how the United States offered rewards to the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq for intelligence on insurgents? That only resulted in populating prisons such as Bagram and Guantánamo with legions of innocents. It seems that in their haste to unearth terrorists, the U.S. military and the CIA had failed to vet their informants. With an eye for the main chance, Iraqis and Afghans saw informing as a way both to cash in and rid their communities of neighbors who’d crossed them, for whatever reason. no matter how trivial.

Using an occupying army to assist you in ridding yourself of local enemies is a time-(dis)honored tradition. One would think that, by this point in history, the military and intelligence agencies would be alert to manipulation. Presumably a perceived need for live bodies to fill quotas over-rode their wariness. Now we see this mistake repeated in designating drone-strike targets.

The landmark report Living Under Drones, released in September by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic and the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, quotes author Tom Junod. In a piece for the AugustEsquire titled The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama, he wrote (emphasis added):

The US detained the “worst of the worst” in Guantánamo for years before releasing six hundred of them, uncharged, which amounts to the admission of a terrible mistake. The Lethal Presidency is making decisions to kill based on intelligence from the same sources. These decisions are final, and no one will ever be let go.

By “decisions to kill,” Junod means drone strikes. Not only is the CIA using bogus intel for drone strikes as it and the military did to net terrorist suspects, it may also be paying Pakistanis to mark houses as targets by depositing computer chips nearby. In addition, GPS’s are attached to cars to turn them, too, into drone fodder.

The report also quotes Clive Stafford Smith writing for the Guardian.

Just as with Guantanamo Bay, the CIA is paying bounties to those who will identify “terrorists.” Five thousand dollars is an enormous sum for a Waziri informant, translating to perhaps £250,000 in London terms. The informant has a calculation to make: is it safer to place a GPS tag on the car of a truly dangerous terrorist, or to call down death on a Nobody (with the beginnings of a beard), reporting that he is a militant? Too many “militants” are just young men with stubble.

Smith reveals another dynamic. Imagine that a Pakistani who contacts the CIA isn’t motivated by the desire to avenge a neighbor for failing to pay back a loan, or something similar. If he’s only in it for the money, why risk fingering a Taliban commander? If discovered, he and perhaps his family would find themselves on the murderous end of Taliban revenge.

To give the CIA some wiggle room, perhaps it assumes it won’t be provided with bogus info because potential informants would fear the CIA demand return of the money if the lead turned out to be false or that it would even detain them. But, as the NYU-Stanford report indicates, the CIA or U.S. military rarely investigate the aftermath of drone strikes to determine whether civilians were killed.

Perhaps then the CIA assumes that informants would be loath to turn in innocents for fear of reprisal from the families of those killed. When deciding who to finger, though, informants may be targeting victims whose families lack the wherewithal to take revenge. Or, with what, in effect, is an astronomical sum to them, informants may factor in paying retribution money to the families of those killed.

The longer this type of cynical use of indigenous peoples continues, the further one’s respect for the CIA diminishes.

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