LAHORE: The Opposition Leader at the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif did not appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) here on Friday citing health reasons.
The best anti-corruption watchdog has summoned Sharif in the money laundering case. He has been asked to bring details of the property he has inherited.
In a written reply to the head of the Lahore NAB Joint Investigation Team which was submitted in response to his summons, PML-N’s president said: “I am 69 years old, who is known to have survived cancer because of my low immunity, in this particular background, medical professionals strongly recommended [me] limited movement and limited exposure due to life-threatening risks due to a pandemic (Covid-19). ”
He said that because of the lock, staff, required data and records as sought by NAB were also inaccessible and asked the agent to extend the time for filing a reply and release him from his personal appearance “until the revocation of the lock and further medical advice”
Questioning the logic behind calling him, he said that he had been interrogated at length about his entire career, including assets, when he was in NAB custody on physical detention and had completed whatever information he sought and made available.
He stated that he had answered all prior call notifications in time and extended full cooperation, including personal appearances. However, “it is unfortunate that the telephone call notification above illustrates the answer as unsatisfactory, incomplete, and evasive”.
Sharif believes that all of his assets are a matter of record because he has declared it before the relevant authorities in due course.
NAB, questioning the whooping increase in Mr Sharif’s family assets between 1988 and 2018, asked him to explain the increase. He was also asked to submit bank details along with loans taken from Barclays during 2005-07 and give details of gifts given or received by families and their agricultural income between 2008 and 2019.
The PML-N leader, who served as Punjab’s chief minister for 10 consecutive years until 2018, was also asked to provide details of using his Model Town residence as a CM camp office and thus maintaining the house with taxpayers’ money.
The liability agency in December 2019 froze 23 property owned by Sharif obtained in the name of his wife, Nusrat Shahbaz and Tehmina Durrani, and the assets are outside of known sources of income. This property includes two residences each in Defense and Model Town, nine plots in Johar Town and four in the Judicial Colony of Lahore.
Published in Dawn, April 18, 2020
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