Lahore (May 27, 2010) The sale of Phalia Sugar Mills was a transparent business transaction and no financial irregularity was committed as implied. After miserably failing to implicate the Chaudhry Family in Haris Steel scandal, our opponents are now desperately trying to drum up another set of false and baseless accusations. Such campaigns are meant to hide our opponents’ own follies and to divert public attention from their stupendous financial crimes. These views were expressed by Moonis Elahi, central leader of Pakistan Muslim League while responding to the accusations made in a section of the press concerning the sale of his family owned Phalia Sugar Mills to M/S Colony Group.
Moonis Elahi said that Colony Group was one of Pakistan’s leading business groups and its credit lines with various banks far exceeded the alleged amount mentioned in the news item and it was highly unfair to politicize a normal business deal to serve vested political interests. He said that Colony Group had not defaulted with the Bank of Punjab at any stage but on the contrary it was a known fact that the Sharif family was on the Bank of Punjab’s defaulters list and owed over 171 million rupees to the bank since long. Moonis Elahi further added that it was also common knowledge that the Sharifs were the country’s biggest bank defaulters and owed billions of rupees to various Pakistani banks, financial institutions and also to the FBR.
He said that it was also widely known that the Sharif family had laundered huge amounts in foreign currency through their off-shore companies and there was a signed confession of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif to this effect present in the records of London High Court. These and similar other facts regarding the financial crimes of the Sharifs had been time and again pointed out by Pakistan Muslim League in the last two and a half years to the utter chagrin of the Sharifs, said Moonis Elahi. He further said that the Sharifs’ financial corruption was clearly evident from Hamesh Khan’s written statement submitted to the US, State Department and also in his petition filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan where he had stated that the incumbent Punjab Chief Minister, on his failure to illegally wrest $ 8 million from Hamesh Khan, the BOP Chief at the time, for the purchase of a sugar mill and in being unable to coerce Hamesh Khan into becoming an approver against the Chaudhry family ordered his persecution.
Moonis Elahi alleged the N League government of deliberately destroying the Bank of Punjab’s market credibility soon after coming into power and of engineering its financial collapse for vested political gains. How was it possible that the share value of BOP which stood at Rs 130 per share till the end of our government in 2007 came crashing down to less than Rs 10 with in the first two months of Shahbaz Sharif’s government in 2008? Moonis asked. He challenged his opponents to prove that his family had ever maintained an account with the Bank of Punjab or borrowed even a penny from it at any point while in power.