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Abraaj co-founder offered $20million to secure Nawaz’s cooperation in selling K-Electric stake: WSJ

ISLAMABAD: Private equity firm Abraaj’s co-founder offered to pay $20million to a Pakistani businessman in the year 2016 to to secure cooperation of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the sale of firm’s stake in K-Electric, US based newspaper Wall Street Journal reported.

In a report documenting Abraaj’s fall, the newspaper reported earlier this week that in the year 2016,  Abraaj was looking to sell its stake in K-Electric, the electricity provider to Karachi so the firm’s co-founder Arif Naqvi tried to secure the cooperation of then-prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and his brother Shehbaz, offering a $20 million payment to businessman Navaid Malik for his help.

The report cites an October 2015 email to Abraaj co-founder Arif Naqvi from partner Omar Lodhi in which Navaid Malik said that Shehbaz was “willing to give a strong endorsement” of the deal to Chinese bidders.

“Mr. Malik said it was “important for him to share every detail with the brothers and get their blessings as well as their instructions as to how this money should be distributed,” such as “a portion to charity” or “a portion to the election fund kitty,” Mr. Lodhi wrote in the email.

The report claims that when Naqvi emailed Lodhi about the $20 million contract for Navaid Malik in June 2016, he wrote, “This document is explosive in the wrong hands.” Abraaj and K-Electric shouldn’t be named in the document, he wrote: “Keep it generic.”

Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif and Abraaj co-founder Arif Naqvi have denied that they were  involved in corruption.

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