Monday, 29 May, 2023

Pak seeks Interpol red notice against close friend of Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi

Pakistan has sought an Interpol red notice against a close friend of Bushra Bibi, the wife of former prime minister Imran Khan, to arrest and bring her back for trial on the charges of money laundering.

Farhat Shahzadi, known as Farah Khan, left the country weeks before Khan was ousted from power in April last year, amidst allegations by the then-opposition that she was involved in corruption.

In a letter to the Interpol director in Islamabad, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought the red notice of “fugitive Farhat Shahzadi in FIR 04/23 of FIA anti-money laundering circle in Lahore”, the Dawn newspaper reported.

According to Interpol, a red notice is not an international arrest warrant but a request to law enforcement worldwide to “locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”.

Several Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, including some federal cabinet members, have been pushing the government to allow the FIA to bring back Shahzadi to the country and make her face the cases filed against her.

Shahzadi is a close friend of Bushra Bibi, the third wife of PTI chief Imran Khan, and PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif had called her Punjab’s “real chief minister” during the tenure of Usman Buzdar who was appointed by Khan.

Shahzadi earlier served legal notices on prime minister special assistant Attaullah Tarar for his “derogatory” remarks about her and against a Dubai-based businessman, a leading news channel and its anchor for alleging that she was involved in the sale of Toshakhana gifts.

In its letter, the FIA said that it was investigating her on charges of laundering millions of rupees.

“On fearing that her heinous crime is likely to be exposed, Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Gogi escaped to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 3, 2022,” it said.

“She has been declared as proclaimed offender by the court of Mr Ghulam Murtaza Virk on March 14, 2023, by the issuance of a proclamation order (warrant),” it further said.

The investigation agency requested Interpol to get the approval of this request and send the process to its headquarters in the French city of Lyon for early issuance of the red notice.

The agency said that once Shahzadi’s red notice was issued, it would vigorously pursue her arrest abroad.

The FIA is also investigating Shahzadi’s husband, Ahsan Jamil Gujjar, in the money laundering case. He is in the United States.

Shahzadi has also been said to have left the UAE and is residing either in the US along with her husband or in some other country, according to the Dawn.

Source: PTI