Nawaz Sharif’s Corruption highlighted in Raymond Baker’s book on Dirty Money

Raymond Baker in his book Capitalism’s Achilles HeelDirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System tried to understand the dynamics of how dirty money works.

Corruption and criminality run from the top down, with the political class constantly looting the national treasury and distorting economic policy for personal gain. Bank loans are granted largely on the basis of status and connections. The rich stash much of their money abroad in those willing western coffers, while exhibiting little inclination to repay their rupee borrowings. Pakistan’s recent history has been dominated by two families—the Bhuttos and the Sharifs—both merely tolerated by the military, the real power in the country. When it comes to economic destruction, there’s not a lot of difference among the three.

Pages 82-85 of the book cover the section on Nawaz Sharif: While Benazir Bhutto hated the generals for executing her father, Nawaz Sharif early on figured out that they held the real power in Pakistan. His father had established a foundry in 1939 and, together with six brothers, had struggled for years only to see their business nationalized by Ali Bhutto’s regime in 1972. This sealed decades of enmity between the Bhuttos and the Sharifs. Following the military coup and General Zia’s assumption of power, the business—Ittefaq—was returned to family hands in 1980.Nawaz Sharif became a director and cultivated relations with senior military officers. This led to his appointment as finance minister of Punjab and then election as chief minister of this most populous province in 1985. During the 1980s and early 1990s, given Sharif ’s political control of Punjab and eventual prime ministership of the country, Ittefaq Industries grew from its original single foundry into 30 businesses producing steel, sugar, paper, and textiles, with combined revenues of $400 million, making it one of the biggest private conglomerates in the nation. As in many other countries, when you control the political realm, you can get anything you want in the economic realm.
With Lahore, the capital of Punjab, serving as the seat of the family’s power, one of the first things Sharif did upon becoming prime minister in 1990 was build his long-dreamed-of superhighway from there to the capital,Islamabad. Estimated to cost 8.5 billion rupees, the project went through two biddings. Daewoo of Korea, strengthening its proposals with midnight meetings, was the highest bidder both times, so obviously it won the contract and delivered the job at well over 20 billion rupees.
A new highway needs new cars. Sharif authorized importation of 50,000 vehicles duty free, reportedly costing the government $700 million in lost customs duties. Banks were forced to make loans for vehicle purchases to would-be taxi cab drivers upon receipt of a 10 percent deposit.Borrowers got their “Nawaz Sharif cabs,” and some 60 percent of them promptly defaultedThis left the banks with $500 million or so in unpaid loans. Vehicle dealers reportedly made a killing and expressed their appreciation in expected ways. Under Sharif, unpaid bank loans and massive tax evasion remained the favorite ways to get rich. Upon his loss of power the usurping government published a list of 322 of the largest loan defaulters, representing almost $3 billion out of $4 billion owed to banks. Sharif and his family were tagged for $60 million. The Ittefaq Group went bankrupt in 1993 when Sharif lost his premiership the first time. By then only three units in the group were operational, and loan defaults of the remaining companies totaled some 5.7 billion rupees, more than $100 million.
Like Bhutto, offshore companies have been linked to Sharif, three in the British Virgin Islands by the names of Nescoll, Nielson, and Shamrock and another in the Channel Islands known as Chandron Jersey Pvt. Ltd. Some of these entities allegedly were used to facilitate purchase of four rather grand flats on Park Lane in London, at various times occupied by Sharif family members. Reportedly, payment transfers were made to Banque Paribas en Suisse, which then instructed Sharif ’s offshore companies Nescoll and Nielson to purchase the four luxury suites.
In her second term, Benazir Bhutto had Pakistan’s Federal Investigating Agency begin a probe into the financial affairs of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The probe was headed by Rehman Malik, deputy director general of the agency. Malik had fortified his reputation earlier by aiding in the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. During Sharif ’s second term, the draft report of the investigation was suppressed, Malik was jailed for a year, and later reportedly survived an assassination attempt, after which he fled to London. The Malik report, five years in the making, was released in 1998, with explosive revelations:
The records, including government documents, signed affidavits from Pakistani officials, bank files and property records, detail deals that Mr. Malik says benefited Mr. Sharif, his family and his political associates:

  • At least $160 million pocketed from a contract to build a highway from Lahore, his home town, to Islamabad, the nation’s capital.
  • At least $140 million in unsecured loans from Pakistan’s state banks.
  • More than $60 million generated from government rebates on sugar exported by millscontrolled by Mr. Sharif and his business associates.
  • At least $58 million skimmed from inflated prices paid for imported wheat from the United States and Canada. In the wheat deal, Mr. Sharif ’s government paid prices far above market value to a private company owned by a close associate of his in Washington, the records show. Falsely inflated invoices for the wheat generated tens of millions of dollars in cash.

The report went on to state that “The extent and magnitude of this corruption is so staggering that it has put the very integrity of the country at stake.” In an interview, Malik added: “No other leader of Pakistan has taken that much money from the banks. There is no rule of law in Pakistan. It doesn’t exist.
What brought Sharif down in his second term was his attempt to acquire virtually dictatorial powers. In 1997 he rammed a bill through his compliant parliament requiring legislators to vote as their party leaders directed. In 1998 he introduced a bill to impose Sharia law (Muslim religious law) across Pakistan, with himself empowered to issue unilateral directives in the name of Islam. In 1999 he sought to sideline the army by replacing Chief of Staff Pervez Musharraf with a more pliable crony. He forgot the lessons he had learned in the 1980s: The army controls Pakistan and politicians are a nuisance. As Musharraf was returning from Sri Lanka, Sharif tried to sack him in midair and deny the Pakistan International Airways flight with 200 civilians on board landing rights in Karachi. Musharraf radioed from the aircraft through Dubai to his commander in Karachi, ordering him to seize the airport control tower, accomplished as the plane descended almost out of fuel. Musharraf turned the tables and completed his coup, and Sharif was jailed.
But Sharif had little to fear. This, after all, is Pakistan. Musharraf needed to consolidate his power with the generals, and Sharif knew details about the corruption of most of the brass. Obviously, it is better to tread lightly around the edges of your peer group’s own thievery. So Musharraf had Sharif probed, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison, but then in 2000 exiled him to Saudi Arabia.Twenty-two containers of carpets and furniture followed, and, of course, his foreign accounts remained mostly intact. Ensconced in a glittering palace in Jeddah, he is described as looking “corpulent” amidst “opulent” surroundings. Reportedly, he and Benazir Bhutto even have an occasional telephone conversation, perhaps together lamenting how unfair life has become.

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  • Rafiq Mian  On April 17, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Bharee bar-kam zakheema — woh Phade jo “aadmi versus insaan” sa waqifyyat nahiN rakHta. Aor inn Sahib ki tainted kahani to formula ha.

    Museebat humare watan maiN yeh ha K humare voters gHade haiN aor humare haaN gHade 99% haiN !!!!!

  • Yasir  On April 17, 2012 at 1:58 am

    PPP and PML (N) are two sides of the same coin ..

  • Ali Kazim  On April 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Revealing and scary. Both major parties, corrupt to the core, have denuded the country from any vestiges of financial viability. It is most unfortunate that there is no sign of either of them dissipating into political oblivion. Regards.

  • Zia  On April 20, 2012 at 6:46 am


  • Shakil  On April 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    excellent, expose eachother and atleast Pakistan people will know your real dirty faces. Very sharifs and the thug Zardari! no difference, common objective – loot and hide away!

  • M.Ahmad  On May 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Sharif brothers are corrupte then any body else

  • Adnan  On May 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Pakistan ek buffay ki tarha ha, jiss ko, jis cheez ki khahish ha wo kha raha ha, balky nooch raha ha….. Zardari ho, Nawaz sharif ho ya Fazal-ur-Rehman ho…sub k sub nooch rahay han pakistan ko… plz ur vote to change Pakistan and become strong Pakistan.

    • Saudkhan  On September 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      They decieving ppls just drama while political ppls doing nothing for pak ppls but exploit

  • Adnan  On May 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I ask one more thing from these ellite class Ghost like, Zardari, Nawaz sharif, Yusuf Raza Gilani and his sons,Fazal-ur-Rehman and all criminal politicians, they just filled their bank accounts with dollars or pound sterling… I ask when they start to use their accounts for their own life,,, did they know they will never die or they know they have can live for 3000 years or so?????????

  • jgrozny  On May 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Reblogged this on JGrozny's Blog and commented:
    The Sher is a thieving rat!

  • Inayat Ullah Khan  On August 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I know more about corrtion of this leader.This only the trailer. I know both brothers including his father. I will inform all of you about three’s Sharifs activities since 1967.

  • Aamir Khan (@aamirkn)  On August 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    yes what all written in book is not enough these people are more then that

  • zia ur rehman  On August 10, 2012 at 2:01 am

    nawaz shehbaz chodri nisar altaf hussain fazlurrehman raja rantal sab
    Asif ali zardari ke nikname he

  • DR MOHAMMED HASNAIN SIDDIQUI AMRSH-LONDON UK  On September 2, 2012 at 8:26 am


  • Sami Khan  On September 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    The author should also add the dirty money of other giant parties of Pakistan, Whose without any doubt involved in corruption. So i think what is revealed in this book is totally illogical, harassing, and allegation on Nawaz sharif and his family members. This author should be dragged to the court for illogical, irrational, and baseless allegation on Nawaz Sharif and his family members..Thanks

  • ASGHAR SHEHZAD  On February 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Nawaz sharif aur iski parti k members to bht bary lutery hn. Apni compnies aur mills chalany k liay inhon ny jis tarah mulk ko loota hy istarah to gidh janwar ko b nahi nochty. .

  • Saboor  On October 1, 2014 at 8:10 am

    PMLN and PPP shall be disqualified from taking part in Pakistani politics. Someone has to do it as they are causing irreparable loss to the country and expanding their business empires at the expense of our country

  • Abdullah  On October 31, 2014 at 7:12 am

    jab tak iss mulk kay awam lathy pathar gun jo hath ay lay kar inn lotoroon ki aall aulad ko zabah nahi karaingay yahi fioon iss mulk par sawar rahain gay—-
    Till such time that common people don’t take sticks, stones, knives, guns and butcher all the rulers along with their families Pakistan will remain the same

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