LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan made a payment of $28.706 million (Rs4.59 billion) to the British firm Broadsheet LLC after losing the long-running litigation at the London High Court.
The amount was transferred from the Pakistan High Commission (PHC) on behalf of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the assets recovery firm — 17 years after it was hired to trace alleged foreign assets of dozens of Pakistanis which it failed to find any.
The London High Court’s Financial Division had issued on December 17 a Final Third Party Order for payment to NAB’s former client Broadsheet by December 30 — drawing curtains on a case that has cost Pakistani taxpayers billions of rupees.
Ironically, Broadsheet was hired by NAB during Pervez Musharraf’s government in 2003 to trace assets in the UK and USA of more than 200 Pakistanis (called ‘targets’ in the contract) including generals, politicians, businessmen — Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif as the chief targets.
The firm didn’t recover a single asset of any target anywhere in the world but its litigation against NAB started over the broken contract when the anti-graft watchdog ended its contract in violation of the terms and conditions.