SKMH Scandal: Who will suffer eventually?

Courtesy Pakistan State Times, Friday, August 10, 2012: http://www.pstimes.com/2012/08/10/skmh-scandal-who-will-suffer-eventually/ & Digital Journal http://www.digitaljournal.com/blog/17940

Earlier this week serious allegations of financial mismanagement and money laundering has been leveled upon Shoukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) & its management by Khuwaja Asif of PMLN wherein Asif revealed that the public’s funds in shape of Zakat, Fitrana, Sadqat & donations were used for real state gambling in Middle East & the funds were transferred through a Shell Company owned by one of the board members of SKMH Imtiaz Haideri.

Khuwaja Asif further stated that a Shell Company was first registered in British Virgin Islands, which transferred the money into a company HBG in Dubai. HBG bought the shares of a company Sugarland worth $3 million. During the year 2009-2010 Sugarland declared losses. Asif claimed that SKMH also suffered losses of about 64% of the total investments but it is not shown on the balance sheet of SKMH. A fact sheet was also distributed to the media persons by the PMLN leader showing that $4.5 million were invested in total.

This press conference prompted PTI leader Imran Khan for a rebuttal wherein he rejected all the allegations. In his press conference Khan denied that money was transferred from Pakistan, or that the funds invested in off-shore Company was of Sadqaat, Fitrana or Zakat. It was the public’s donations which we received from overseas Pakistanis, kept in Endowment Fund of SKMH & the same money was used for investment in real state, Imran Khan mentioned.

Irrespective of the nature of money if it is Sadqaat, Fitrana, Zakat or was donated by overseas Pakistanis as charity to SKMH, the point is it was meant for the Cancer Patients for their treatment in Pakistan or to be invested in Endowment Fund of SKMH to meet its future expenses. Imran Khan couldn’t mention the name of the Shareholders, Board of Directors & the management of the said Shell Company in British Virgin Islands, HBG of Dubai & Sugarland which also shadowed the whole business.

Khuwaja Asif once again alleged Imran Khan that those working in SKMH are either Imran Khan’s close friends or family members. They are all real state businessmen or collecting donations he mentioned.

Replying to a question of the host in a TV program Imran Khan angrily mentioned, “I don’t know who the other directors or shareholders are in above mentioned companies, I only know that Mr. Imtiaz Haidery is a trustworthy man & is working with SKMH for decades. I wish if Mr. Khan would have had think about his party members who have worked with PMLN, PPP or PMLQ for years & now are with PTI. The host also highlighted this point.

We have their guarantee on a letterhead, said Imran Khan, that all profits are for us & losses are for them”. Perhaps Khan doesn’t know such a letter head is not a guarantee at all. Perhaps the Financial Managers at SKMH also don’t know about the difference b/w a Letter of Guarantee & a Letter of Comfort. Even someone from SKMH’s management also admitted that “Yes investing in such a way was our mistake”!

I don’t know whom to blame, Imran Khan for his ignorance, SKMH’s management for their wrong investments or Khuwaja Asif of PMLN on disclosing such issue on a wrong time. What I know is SKMH have lost huge amount of public donations & the poor Cancer Patients will suffer eventually.

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