EXCLUSIVE: Muhammad Khan Bhatti Records Confession Statement On 'Managing' Judges At Behest of Elahi and ...

EXCLUSIVE: Muhammad Khan Bhatti Records Confession Statement On 'Managing' Judges At Behest of Elahi and Moonis
The Friday Times has come to learn that the former principal secretary to chief minister Muhammad Khan Bhatti has recorded his confession statement against the former chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi.

Sources privy to this development confirmed with TFT that Bhatti who was arrested on Thursday from Quetta while he was trying to go to Iran in his statement under section 164 of CrPc has confessed about how he paid a heavy amount of money allegedly on the behest of the former chief minister and his son manage some of the judges to get decisions of their favour in the ongoing cases.

“He admitted giving bribes to two senior judges on the behest of Elahi and Moonis and audio and video of it are also available with concerned departments,” a senior official said while adding that these alleged payments were made to their front men in order to get decisions of their choice in pending cases.

‘Audio about the twin sons of SC Judge likely to be leaked soon’

Sources privy to this development told TFT that audio will be released soon which will also establish the core points of his confession. “In this audio the judge and his two sons will be discussed how Bhatti on the behest of Elahi and Moonis allegedly managed some of the judges by giving them money and other benefits,” they maintained.

‘Bhatti likely to become approver against Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi’

Sources from Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) said that Bhatti is likely to become the approver against the former chief minister and his son as he is aware of all of their wrongdoings be it giving bribe to frontmen of different high placed bureaucrats, judges or accommodating blue eyed contractors and officials on their behest which has caused loss of billions of rupees to National exchequer.

Sources maintained that these videos could further establish the connection between the said judge whose previous audio leak also surfaced a weeks ago in which he was talking to former CM Elahi about the presence of Muhammad Khan Bhatti at his home.

“The money I made from the transfer and postings of different bureaucrats, police officials and kickbacks which have been received were taken at the behest of Elahi and his son,” sources quoted him as saying this while adding that money was given to Moonis and Elahi in the shape of cash.

Bhatti facing 800 million corruption case

Director General ACE Sohail Zafar Chattha has formed a four member team who will bring Bhatti to Lahore as a Rs 800 million corruption case has already been registered against him at ACE. “In which he had received a huge amount of money for transfer and postings and millions of rupees commission to award contracts of development works,” a senior official said.

In this case, an XEN of C&W Rana Iqbal has already been arrested who has recorded his confession statement against Bhatti in the court.

Now Bhatti is ready to become approver and had confessed that everything was done on former chief minister and his son’s instructions.

‘Bhatti’s rise from grade 7 clerk to principal secretary’

It is pertinent to mention that Bhatti’s career started during the 1990s when his brother, Ahmad Khan Bhatti, was working with the Chaudhrys of Gujrat. He was appointed as a grade-7 officer in 1995 as part of the union council government at a time when Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the chairman of the concerned union council. In 1997, in an unusual career hike, he was promoted to Grade-19 and posted in the Punjab Assembly.

Sources allege that Elahi used public funds to build a four-kanal house for Bhatti in Lahore. The house has been registered in his name since 2007.

When corruption charges were filed against Bhatti in 2008, he was relieved of his posting at the provincial assembly by the assembly speaker, Rana Iqbal.

However, he was acquitted by the LHC and returned to the assembly when Elahi was appointed as Speaker in 2018. He was appointed as secretary to the Speaker and promoted to Grade-22, the highest grade in civil service.

There is evidence to suggest that Bhatti’s links to Elahi are not limited to government service only.

After his dismissal from Punjab Assembly in 2008, he was appointed the political secretary of Elahi and played a part in the financial affairs of the Chaudhry family. This came to light when he was accused as an accomplice in a money-laundering case linked to the Chaudhrys’ Rahim Yar Sugar Mill.

Rahim Yar Sugar Mill was founded in 2007 by Qasim Nawaz Bhatti and Mazhar Abbassi. The request for the mill’s no-objection certificate (NOC) was submitted by ex-minister Khusro Bakhtiar’s brother, Umer Bakhtiar, and was promptly approved by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who was the chief minister.

The investigation report claims that Qasim Nawaz’s share in the project was shown as 31 percent while that of Mazhar Abbasi was 35 percent. However, the value of investment rose to Rs 720 million in 2008.

The source of these additional assets remains unclear, says the report. It further states that while both Qasim and Mazhar sold their shares during 2011-14, details of such transactions are not available.

After changing several hands, 34 percent of the company’s shares were bought by two offshore companies, namely CasketTech Private Limited and XCapital Private Limited.

According to FIA officials, both these companies are owned by Elahi, with a 10 percent share of Wajid Bhatti, whose brother, Sajid Bhatti, is the current chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

Moreover, Makhdoom Umer Sheheryar, whose brother Khusroo Bakhtiar was a minister during the reign of General Pervez Musharraf, and his son-in-law, Tariq Javed, also held a 31 percent stake in the sugar mill until 2020.

The FIA also suspects that Elahi and Moonis Elahi have been using proxies to hide their part of the funding to establish the sugar mill.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy. He also hosts the Hassan Naqvi Show on Naya Daur.