LAHORE: Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commissioner (OPC) Afzal Bhatti admitted before the Supreme Court on Friday that he does not hold Pakistani citizenship.
“I held a public office despite not being a Pakistani citizen,” he informed the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar at the Lahore Registry of the apex court.
A suo motu notice was previously taken in response to his appointment.
“Pakistan is not a country where anyone can be allowed to loot and plunder at will,” the CJP remarked when Bhatti said that he has been a “British citizen since birth”.
The CJP ordered that a reference be filed against Afzal Bhatti and inquired about his salary.
“How much salary have you been getting? Do you know that a dam is being built and all salaries above original pay are being collected for its donation,” he remarked.
“Afzal Bhatti, I have an offer for you. Return the money that you have received above your original pay,” he continued.
DG NAB Lahore Major (r) Saleem Shahzad informed the three-member bench that “Bhatti served as former premier Nawaz Sharif’s secretary and as Shehbaz Sharif’s political secretary”.
“Bhatti does not even have the experience required to be an overseas commissioner,” said Shahzad while presenting an audit report to the court.
Shahzad explained that a committee had forwarded a list of three names to the then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“After Shehbaz’s approval, Bhatti was appointed overseas commissioner and received a salary of Rs0.5million,” he said.
“Will you return the amount over the original pay or should we send the reference to NAB?” the CJP inquired.
“I challenge NAB’s audit report,” Bhatti replied.
Justice Nisar then directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to hear Afzal Bhatti’s statements and file a reference against him.