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Top Pakistan MPs Become Millionaires Overnight, Probe Ordered

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top politicians, including the Speaker and Leader of the Opposition have said that someone has deposited Rs 100 million each into fake accounts opened in their names, prompting a high-level probe.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah claimed on Wednesday that fake bank accounts had been opened in their names and that transactions worth tens of millions of rupees had been made from those accounts.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, Kashmir Committee Chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others also claimed that fake accounts were being operated in their names, the Dawn reported on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, Speaker Sadiq has ordered the State Bank governor and the Federal Investigation Agency director general to investigate the matter after he received a fake bank receipt of a fixed deposit account that he did not operate.

The Speaker informed the apex bank governor that these transactions were fake. The statement also claimed that the speaker did not possess any bank account in the city or the bank mentioned on the transactions receipt.

“The State Bank has been informed about the issue and the speaker has clarified [that he has] nothing to do with those accounts,” the statement said.

Chairman Raza Rabbani informed the Senate during proceedings that he had received a receipt from the SME Bank in the mail at his Karachi residence, according to which an amount of Rs100 million had been deposited into this account.

He said he had written to the president of the bank, pointing out that he had never operated an account there and hence the question of a transaction did not arise.

The leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shah claimed that he had received a term deposit report at his National Assembly address, indicating that the SME Bank in Karachi had transacted Rs100 million from his account.

“The opposition leader does not have an account in that bank, then how was that report made? When contacted, the bank declared the TDR ‘fake’ and said that they had…received similar complaints from other personalities as well,” the statement said.

It still remains a mystery as to who was behind these fake transactions or what was the motive behind depositing huge sums in bank accounts opened in the names of prominent lawmakers, the report said.

Abid Qamar, a spokesperson for the State Bank of Pakistan, said that they had received information from parliament regarding the fake bank accounts, adding that the central bank would investigate the matter to ascertain how the accounts were opened.