Fires US Spy Agency for Pushing Amir Lodhi's Arrest
Fugitive Brother Allowed to Sneak Away from Embassy in Washington
A major scandal about the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
of General Musharraf's military government came to light last
week when a private US spying company disclosed that wanted fugitive
Amir Lodhi, brother of the Pakistan High Commissioner to UK Maleeha
Lodhi, had been tracked down several times but allowed to sneak
out by the Government, once from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
to Pakistan's influential Daily 'Dawn', Amir Lodhi, an arms dealer,
was wanted by the Government of Pakistan in the French submarines
case in which a former Pakistan Navy Chief, Admiral Mansurul Haq
had been nabbed by the same spy agency and made to pay $7.5 million
to the Pakistan Government.
Dawn reported, quoting unnamed sources, that the US company, Broadsheet,
a private spy tracking agency hired by NAB, had protested as it
had tracked Amir Lodhi, the brother of Maleeha Lodhi, a number
of times, but the NAB was not ready to get him extradited.
one instance, officials quoted company sources as saying, he was
allowed to sneak away from Pakistan's Embassy in Washington,"
It reported: "Pakistan recently terminated the contract of
US assets recovery company, Broadsheet, as the company had raised
objection on NAB's "selective approach."
The paper said Pakistan had exposed itself to costly international
arbitration in Ireland by terminating the contract of Broadsheet
because of political favoritism.
quoted officials saying the US company was frustrated at the approach
of the National Accountability Bureau, as it was governed by what
it termed political expediency.
NAB had entered into an agreement with Broadsheet, a specialist
in asset recovery, for regaining the plundered national wealth
stashed in foreign banks by public office holders.
bureau had agreed to pay 20 per cent of the amount recovered with
the help of the company. Under the contract, the government was
required to hand over a list of its "targets" to the
sources said US company was not happy how its good work for nabbing
the wanted men like, Amir Lodhi, and Abdullah Shah, was squandered
by NAB for political expediency.
Dawn said, NAB showed no interest in the arrest of Abdullah Shah,
former chief minister of Sindh, when the company had tracked him
down as well. Sources said the company, which was getting paid
only on the recovery of the stolen wealth, wanted to lay hands
on at least eight Pakistani bureaucrats, and politicians hiding
in foreign lands, but the NAB advised the company to "hold
NAB is reportedly negotiating a similar agreement with a British
law firm for the same purposes. So far, the best catch in the
NAB's history, former naval chief Mansurul Haq, was made possible
with the help of the US company, and for that the company was
paid 20 per cent of the recovered $7.5 million.
company, which was provided a list of 250 "targets"
of politicians, and bureaucrats, was also miffed at the government's
deals with some of its potential targets. One of its target, Aftab
Ahmad Khan Sherpao, became a minister with the change of government.
unilateral termination of the contract, sources said, in all probabilities
would be raised before the arbitrators sitting in Ireland as per
has been losing millions of dollars to foreign companies because
of inept decisions. Its disputes with Saba Shipyard, Bayinder
of Turkey, Impregilo of Italy, and SGS of Switzerland is costing
Pakistan millions of dollars on litigation with these companies
in foreign jurisdictions, Dawn reported.