World Bank Denies Nawaz Sharif Laundered $4.9 Billion to India
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. (Photo: kremlin.ru)

Days after newsmedia in India and Pakistan began reporting of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India, the World Bank has refuted these claims.

Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has ordered an inquiry against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India, according to reports in the Pakistani media.

The World Bank denied the media reports claiming that its 2016 report on remittances mentioned that Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif laundered $4.9 billion money to India, raising a question on the credibility of the anti-corruption watchdog in Pakistan. "In the past day, there have been media reports citing the World Bank's Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports were incorrect. The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals," the World Bank clarified in a statement. The World Bank's Remittances and Migration Report is an effort by the World Bank to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world, it said.

In its annual report, the statement said that the World Bank estimates bilateral remittances between countries using the methodology summarised in the World Bank Working Paper 102 South-South migration and remittances by the authors of the report. "We would also like to refer to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan SBP which rejects estimates of US$4.9 billion remittances from Pakistan to India on September 21, 2016, refuting the $4.9 billion remittances number and providing an explanation of the methodology used in the World Bank report and the official remittances numbers," the statement added.

A statement by the NAB, which ordered the inquiry based on a media report, claimed that the amount was laundered to the Indian finance ministry after which Indian foreign exchange reserves witnessed an increase and Pakistan suffered as a result, reported Pakistan's Geo News.

According to the media report, the incident was mentioned in the World Bank's Migration and Remittance Book 2016. However, the details of the media report based on which the NAB ordered inquiry, were not jotted in the statement.

Nawaz Sharif quit from his post as the premier of Pakistan in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him due to a slew of corruption charges against him and his family members after the revelation of the Panama Papers case. (With Agency inputs)