LONDON: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly defended the Abraaj founder and private equity tycoon Arif Naqvi as his personal friend who wanted to do good for others, especially in Pakistan, in the process of making a true impact in the financial world circuit.
In doing so, he was joined by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, his predecessor as Prime Minister who agreed with him especially when it came to the role played in the demise of Abraaj due to the issues in selling Karachi Electric to the Chinese.
The views of the two former prime ministers were aired in an hour-long BBC research documentary on the rise and fall of Arif Naqvi and his brainchild Abraaj: ‘Billion Dollar Downfall: The Dealmaker’.
During his interview, the PTI chief said: “The more money he [Naqvi] made the more successful he got and the more he contributed to good.”
Imran Khan spoke to the makers of the BBC documentary alongside former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi; this correspondent as the Geo News reporter for exclusively covering Arif Naqvi’s case; former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman; Simon Clarke and William Louch, who published a book on Abraaj; Khalid Janahi, former Chairman of Dar al Maal Islami Trust in Geneva and a long time Davos attendee; and Andrew Farnum, manager of the Gates Foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund, amongst others.
Both Abbasi and Khan defended Naqvi’s work and lamented that it was unfortunate that he was now under house arrest in London, awaiting extradition to the United States to face a possible imprisonment of nearly 300 years over charges of money laundering, wire fraud, and financial mismanagement.