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Nawaz Sharif’s Corruption highlighted in Raymond Baker’s book on Dirty Money

Raymond Baker in his book Capitalism’s Achilles HeelDirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System tried to understand the dynamics of how dirty money works, in his book he elboarately covers the Corruption in Pakistan and takes a swing at both Benazir Bhutto & Nawaz Sharif to say [Credit @Aleem_Ashraf]

Corruption and criminality run from the top down, with the political class constantly looting the national treasury and distorting economic policy for personal gain. Bank loans are granted largely on the basis of status and connections. The rich stash much of their money abroad in those willing western coffers, while exhibiting little inclination to repay their rupee borrowings. Pakistan’s recent history has been dominated by two families—the Bhuttos and the Sharifs—both merely tolerated by the military, the real power in the country. When it comes to economic destruction, there’s not a lot of difference among the three.

Pages 82-85 of the book cover the section on Nawaz Sharif: While Benazir Bhutto hated the generals for executing her father, Nawaz Sharif early on figured out that they held the real power in Pakistan. His father had established a foundry in 1939 and, together with six brothers, had struggled for years only to see their business nationalized by Ali Bhutto’s regime in 1972. This sealed decades of enmity between the Bhuttos and the Sharifs. Following the military coup and General Zia’s assumption of power, the business—Ittefaq—was returned to family hands in 1980. Nawaz Sharif became a director and cultivated relations with senior military officers. This led to his appointment as finance minister of Punjab and then election as chief minister of this most populous province in 1985. During the 1980s and early 1990s, given Sharif ’s political control of Punjab and eventual prime ministership of the country, Ittefaq Industries grew from its original single foundry into 30 businesses producing steel, sugar, paper, and textiles, with combined revenues of $400 million, making it one of the biggest private conglomerates in the nation. As in many other countries, when you control the political realm, you can get anything you want in the economic realm.

With Lahore, the capital of Punjab, serving as the seat of the family’s power, one of the first things Sharif did upon becoming prime minister in 1990 was build his long-dreamed-of superhighway from there to the capital,Islamabad. Estimated to cost 8.5 billion rupees, the project went through two biddings. Daewoo of Korea, strengthening its proposals with midnight meetings, was the highest bidder both times, so obviously it won the contract and delivered the job at well over 20 billion rupees.

A new highway needs new cars. Sharif authorized importation of 50,000 vehicles duty free, reportedly costing the government $700 million in lost customs duties. Banks were forced to make loans for vehicle purchases to would-be taxi cab drivers upon receipt of a 10 percent deposit. Borrowers got their “Nawaz Sharif cabs,” and some 60 percent of them promptly defaulted. This left the banks with $500 million or so in unpaid loans. Vehicle dealers reportedly made a killing and expressed their appreciation in expected ways. Under Sharif, unpaid bank loans and massive tax evasion remained the favorite ways to get rich. Upon his loss of power the usurping government published a list of 322 of the largest loan defaulters, representing almost $3 billion out of $4 billion owed to banks. Sharif and his family were tagged for $60 million. The Ittefaq Group went bankrupt in 1993 when Sharif lost his premiership the first time. By then only three units in the group were operational, and loan defaults of the remaining companies totaled some 5.7 billion rupees, more than $100 million.

Like Bhutto, offshore companies have been linked to Sharif, three in the British Virgin Islands by the names of Nescoll, Nielson, and Shamrock and another in the Channel Islands known as Chandron Jersey Pvt. Ltd. Some of these entities allegedly were used to facilitate purchase of four rather grand flats on Park Lane in London, at various times occupied by Sharif family members. Reportedly, payment transfers were made to Banque Paribas en Suisse, which then instructed Sharif ’s offshore companies Nescoll and Nielson to purchase the four luxury suites.

In her second term, Benazir Bhutto had Pakistan’s Federal Investigating Agency begin a probe into the financial affairs of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The probe was headed by Rehman Malik, deputy director general of the agency. Malik had fortified his reputation earlier by aiding in the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. During Sharif ’s second term, the draft report of the investigation was suppressed, Malik was jailed for a year, and later reportedly survived an assassination attempt, after which he fled to London. The Malik report, five years in the making, was released in 1998, with explosive revelations:

The records, including government documents, signed affidavits from Pakistani officials, bank files and property records, detail deals that Mr. Malik says benefited Mr. Sharif, his family and his political associates:

  • At least $160 million pocketed from a contract to build a highway from Lahore, his home town, to Islamabad, the nation’s capital.
  • At least $140 million in unsecured loans from Pakistan’s state banks.
  • More than $60 million generated from government rebates on sugar exported by mills controlled by Mr. Sharif and his business associates.
  • At least $58 million skimmed from inflated prices paid for imported wheat from the United States and Canada. In the wheat deal, Mr. Sharif ’s government paid prices far above market value to a private company owned by a close associate of his in Washington, the records show. Falsely inflated invoices for the wheat generated tens of millions of dollars in cash.

The report went on to state that “The extent and magnitude of this corruption is so staggering that it has put the very integrity of the country at stake.” In an interview, Malik added: “No other leader of Pakistan has taken that much money from the banks. There is no rule of law in Pakistan. It doesn’t exist.

What brought Sharif down in his second term was his attempt to acquire virtually dictatorial powers. In 1997 he rammed a bill through his compliant parliament requiring legislators to vote as their party leaders directed. In 1998 he introduced a bill to impose Sharia law (Muslim religious law) across Pakistan, with himself empowered to issue unilateral directives in the name of Islam. In 1999 he sought to sideline the army by replacing Chief of Staff Pervez Musharraf with a more pliable crony. He forgot the lessons he had learned in the 1980s: The army controls Pakistan and politicians are a nuisance. As Musharraf was returning from Sri Lanka, Sharif tried to sack him in midair and deny the Pakistan International Airways flight with 200 civilians on board landing rights in Karachi. Musharraf radioed from the aircraft through Dubai to his commander in Karachi, ordering him to seize the airport control tower, accomplished as the plane descended almost out of fuel. Musharraf turned the tables and completed his coup, and Sharif was jailed.

But Sharif had little to fear. This, after all, is Pakistan. Musharraf needed to consolidate his power with the generals, and Sharif knew details about the corruption of most of the brass. Obviously, it is better to tread lightly around the edges of your peer group’s own thievery. So Musharraf had Sharif probed, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison, but then in 2000 exiled him to Saudi Arabia. Twenty-two containers of carpets and furniture followed, and, of course, his foreign accounts remained mostly intact. Ensconced in a glittering palace in Jeddah, he is described as looking “corpulent” amidst “opulent” surroundings. Reportedly, he and Benazir Bhutto even have an occasional telephone conversation, perhaps together lamenting how unfair life has become.


  • sameer_khalid |

    @DrAwab @aleem_ashraf #PTI #PMLn #SamjhotaExpress Why is it so easy for political trolls like you to expose other parties flaws instead 1/2

  • sameer_khalid |

    @DrAwab @aleem_ashraf #PMLn #PTI #SamjhotaExpress 2/2 instead of explaining to the nation your plans and ground map for a progressive nation

    • aleem_ashraf |

      @sameer_khalid @drawab Its important to expose crooks as well.#PTI has presented its energy policy already.Local govt,revenue gen etc r next

  • ahsanhayat5 |

    @DrAwab @aleem_ashraf @ aur dhond k lao books, so called inqilabis, ager sachay ho to court jao werna charactor assignation bund karo

    • aleem_ashraf |

      @ahsanhayat5 @drawab its not #PTI only but world renowned experts e.g. Raymond Baker r saying that Nawaz Sharif is corrupt.

  • AghaHashmi |

    @DrAwab @aleem_ashraf The book has also a portion about zardari corruption

  • alsheikho |

     @DrAwab Ever heard of "innocent until proven guilty"? It takes a lot more than a book and a blogpost to prove corruption.Either take them to courts and prove it or shut up. 

    • Rao Mak |

      and let nawaz sharef attack the supreme court once more, ignorant people you deserve to be ruled by such people.

  • NadiaPTI |

    @PTI_tsunami i am looking at ur #'s.. =) "corrupt parasits faithless cheaters.. "

  • mhunain |

    @PTI_tsunami Ya Allah help us & give us a good leader who has love for Allah and love for Prophet Muhammad Sallalaho alehay waalehee waslam

  • joedixon737 |

    it cracks me whenever I see full time root canal expert, part time internet warrior and wanna be Che Guevara declaring baseless "fatwas" ….
    but hey what else you expect from PTIgnorants and PTIdiots belonging to Pathetic Tehreek-i-Imrani !

  • ABID0092 |

    @s4spider its my pkeasure khan ji to read ur tweet u r the hope we will be wid u….@

  • AghaHashmi |

    @ACompany007 @MubasherLucman this book also has a chapter about asif zardari corruption.

  • bilal_aslam |

    @ACompany007 @MubasherLucman there is no proof of corruption..these are only allegations..

  • PTI_tsunami |

    @DaDemagogue @ShezrehMirza Mian Sahab…. "Allah k fazl o karam se" :p

  • JunaidMalik86 |

    @uzi29686 Yeaa… seen it .. posted it a while ago ! " #SanaBucha Nawaz " shud do a show on this 😛

  • ZahiAlyy |

    @Zacardo lol aisi bahut c books hain bhai inn mien facts kuch b nahi agar ho tau humara media chup rehny wali cheez nahi 😉

    • Zacardo |

      @ZahiAlyy chalo mitti pao, Long Live Pakistan.. baki mei toh kru ga critics 😛 hahaha

    • ZahiAlyy |

      @Zacardo lol karo bhai 😛 kis ne roka hai? 😛

    • Zacardo |

      @ZahiAlyy lol yar wese mei iss liye bhi zyada iss baarey ney bolta aksar log tey hathi peh jaandey 😛

    • Zacardo |

      @ZahiAlyy mei kuch din pehle IK nu mention kita with tough Qs, tey menu pti waley peh gye lol mei v fair charha laiyyaan bawaan

    • ZahiAlyy |

      @Zacardo hahahahahahahahahahaha ap ne Blasphemy jo kar di thi 😛

    • Zacardo |

      @ZahiAlyy yar kasmay aesi chawlon ki wja se sb bdnaam ho rhe hain 😛

  • naveedpti |

    @DrAwab they just recoverd from social media burnol treatment and can't take it any more

  • toufiqshaikh |

    @DrAwab PML Supporters always use to follow their leader's strategy that is "Main nahe maanta, main nahe maanta"

  • arshadsyed001 |

    @DrAwab Sir what's PTI's stand on Burmese Muslim genocide?

  • Imranbutt_pk |

    @DrAwab what about Khurshud Qasuri,,Sardar Asif..Mian Abdul Rasheed.

  • MajidTamoor |

    @DrAwab criticism like this is acceptable and one should realise doing personal attacks wont help anyone rather criticise policies.

    • Shizz284 |

      @MajidTamoor dose wid some dirty background and upbringing can only retort to personal attacks rather than real facts.#PMLN @DrAwab

    • hawan82 |

      @majidtamoor @drawab Isnt that their personal matter

  • adnanbutt12 |

    @DrAwab Ask your leader to be a man & sue Nawaz Sharif on the basis of this book like PML-N leader took PPP to court in so many cases.

  • ayeshaijazkhan |

    @AsifHSheikh I m not looking to prove anything 2 u or anyone. Those who follow me on twitter know that I critique all political parties.

    • AsifHSheikh |

      @ayeshaijazkhan Ayesha -To be honest I still never come accross a single Tweet of urs against PPP,MQM,PMLn & even JUI

    • ayeshaijazkhan |

      @AsifHSheikh because u don't follow me so u r talking how would u? Stupidity anyone?

  • ayeshaijazkhan |

    @AsifHSheikh btw its really funny that some1 who says in his profile "zealous member of PTI" expects others 2 b impartial. Hypocrisy anyone?

    • AsifHSheikh |

      @ayeshaijazkhan I say what I am unlike others who say they are unbiased towards any political party!

    • ayeshaijazkhan |

      @AsifHSheikh u r simply a moron who talks without researching.

    • AsifHSheikh |

      @ayeshaijazkhan Think u had a bad day!this language does not suit u!U r a writer & biased approach reflect in ur articles!this is my view

    • ayeshaijazkhan |

      @AsifHSheikh rude people like u who send tweets out of the blue making unfounded allegations deserve rudeness back!

    • ayeshaijazkhan |

      @AsifHSheikh u have a problem with my articles? Write your own! Don't tell me what 2 write. I have my own views!

    • ayeshaijazkhan |

      @AsifHSheikh oh but I forgot Mr Asif Sheikh only has 2 followers so maybe people couldn't care less what he has to say–haha…

  • Kamran Khan |

    It is in no way possible that Nawaz Sharf was not involved in corruption. We just need to compare earnings rate of their businesses vs. that of competitors and industry growth rates to ascertain that the funds they funneled outside the country in no way came through legitimate means. Some foreign authors have done a great job in providing money trail of these funds. I just want to know that either Sharif brothers are running an empire or they have “Qaroon ka Khazana”. The annual increase in their incomes mounts to billions and trillions, from where they have got so much. Their father had started only a single steel mill now they have tens of such factories. Can you quote a single example of such a business man that made such leaps and bounds progress like Mian brothers. Infact they have looted and plundered national wealth and they must be hold accountable for this..

  • jehanzeb |

    munafiqs are being defended as if they were honest and sharif people. the fact of matter is why dont these sharrifs take the author reymond baker to court . Believe me they can never do it as this book is based on solid evidence as unlike pakistan they can face libel charges in the west if they made up stories. But these paid trolls of nooras are blinded by little money they receive to defend nawaz sharrif and co. We are more upset about nooras because they pretend to be very honest but they are factually more corrupt then zardari. Look at our sold out media and judiciary who never take note of the corrupt practices of nooras. About zardari every pakistani even ppp members have no doubt that he is corrupt. That is why a munafiq is declared worse than a kafir by our holy prophet.. We expect our judiciary and media to defend us from both these evils i.e.noras and zardari league and not just one villian i.e. zardari. Now these two evils have even joined hands to further plunder the country. But this time both of them are exposed and if Allah wills both will be defeated in elections. If not defeated then consider it punishment from Allah for being party to the corruption of both these evils.

  • zub |

    Oh my god the sharif brothers have gutted down like 210 million dollars oh my god and another 60 million dollars from sugar just imagine the guy is so loaded