How did Ansar Abbasi get access to Musharraf’s private accounts?Jan 8th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Jang, The News
In a detailed front page story of The News on Sunday, Ansar Abbasi asks, ‘How did Musharraf become a billionaire?’ While questions about the source of Gen Musharraf’s personal fortune are legitimate, they typically focus on public information – how was he able to afford his London home? What is his current source of income? But Ansar Abbasi points to new information about Musharraf’s personal wealth, and it is not only the information, but how Ansar Abbasi was able to access it that raises troubling questions.
In his article, Ansar Abbasi spends no less than nine paragraphs listing details of Gen Musharraf’s personal accounts with banks and trading accounts in UAE. Not only does Ansar Abbasi list the amounts each account contains, but the account numbers themselves. All of this information is attributed, as usual, to “a source”.
Musharraf has announced that he will return to Pakistan this month to participate in the next parliamentary elections. The question must be asked who would have access to such private financial information as overseas bank accounts, including their account numbers and amounts? And why would those with access to this information be interested in revealing it to Ansar Abbasi? Is it merely a coincidence that Ansar Abbasi’s “source” has revealed this information at this time? Or is Abbasi’s article intended as blackmail to prevent a politician from participating in elections?
This blog has no way of knowing whether the information provided by Ansar Abbasi is true or false. If it is true, we also have no way of knowing where the money came from – whether from looting the national treasury as seems to be implied by the article, or from legitimate sources such as book sales and speaking fees. It is in the public interest to know that politicians are not building personal wealth through corruption, but it is also in the public interest to know how such private information becomes public. Ansar Abbasi does not need to reveal the name of his anonymous source, but it may be in the public interest to know whether his source is an employee of the bank – which is the bank’s concern, or an employee of some other organization – which may be a concern to democracy.