Pakistan is now on the verge of facing yet another international humiliation of unimaginable proportions. For a nation that has been bankrupt for as far as memory goes, being pulled up by various entities across the world whom the Pakistani state owes debts to is not new. However, what is definitely going to be new is the seizure of all assets related to Pakistani cricketers and the Pakistan Cricket Board by a London-based company which has won an arbitration case in a Court against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of the country.
Broadsheet LLC., the company which has won the arbitration case against the state of Pakistan and the NAB has already sought court orders instructing magistrates “to seize the assets of the Pakistani cricket team” and their action is reportedly poised to commence in two days, unless Pakistan convinces them otherwise, which to be honest, the Islamic debt-ridden country is not in a position of.
While the Pakistan Cricket team has no direct links with Broadsheet LLC and the debt which Pakistan owes it, the company nevertheless is visibly frustrated and is willing to take extreme measures, since Pakistan even stopped indulging in correspondence with the company. The News reported that in a letter sent to Islamabad’s counsel, Allen & Overy, the company has argued that the state of Pakistan and NAB have failed to pay the award money it owes, which is more than 33 million dollars. On top of that, they have also refused to engage in any such correspondence for months. “The Pakistan cricket team is currently in the UK preparing for a Test series against England,” the letter sent by Broadsheet LLC said, further adding, “We consider that the team is, by the very nature, an asset of the defendant and that monies due to the team and assets of the team are assets of the defendant (Pakistan) to the litigation.”
Apart from this, the Broadsheet LLC is also considering to seize other assets including the Pakistan High Commission building and High Commissioner’s house in London as well as the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
The matter dates back to the early 2000’s, when the Pervez Musharraf regime hired Broadsheet LLC to trace out hidden assets of 150 Pakistani nationals in foreign countries, including the Shariff’s. The agreement was unceremoniously terminated by the Pakistani National Accountability Bureau in 2003, after which Pak owed damages to the company, which now translate to the tune of $33 million.
The England vs Pakistan 2020 series will begin on August 5 with the opening Test at Old Trafford. England vs Pakistan 2020 series will see the teams competing in three Tests and as many T20Is. As such, the Pakistani team is in London for the same, and it is for this reason that Broadsheet LLC is keen to seize their assets, turning the indifference of Pakistan towards the debt owed by them into an international embarrassment. It is very much possible that Pakistani players now face the extreme music of British law, even as professional bailiffs descend upon them to seize their property.