LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, has prepared another corruption reference to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz relating to the Chaudhry Sugar Factory, laundering money and assets beyond his means and sending them to his retired chairman. Judge Javed Iqbal on Friday for approval to file in the accountability court.
The Lahore NAB also opened an investigation of Sharif’s family because it “illegally obtained” hundreds of hectares of land in Raiwind to put it in the residence of his Teak Umra.
“New corruption references to Sharif’s family involving Rs7 billion will be presented at the NAB executive board meeting next week and the chairman is expected to give approval to submit a reference in the Lahore accountability court soon,” a source told Dawn.
He said the deputy chairman of the NAB had also called for a pre-executive board meeting on Monday to discuss the reference draft prepared by the NAB executive board Lahore.
PML-N regrets that Sharif’s mother, ancestral property ‘was dragged into political victimization’
NAB has appointed Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz as the main suspects in the reference. Shahbaz Sharif’s son, Salman, who fled in England, and other members of Sharif’s family were among 16 suspects in the case.
“In this reference, NAB has 100 prosecution witnesses and four people who agree (against Sharif’s family),” said the source, adding that Maryam Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif’s eldest son, Hamza were given a questionnaire in this regard but they failed to respond to 80 percent of questions.
NAB suspected in reference that the Sharif family had made money through money laundering and had assets outside of known sources of income.
The NAB had summoned Shahbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, for money and income laundering outside the investigation on June 2.
Maryam Nawaz has been bailed out in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case since November, 2019. Nawaz Sharif has been in London since November, 2019, for his medical treatment after getting bailed out in the corruption cases of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Al-Azizia Mills, where he is serving a sentence of seven years in Kot Lakhpat prison, Lahore.
Meanwhile, NAB Lahore launched another investigation of Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Sharif’s mother, Shamim Begum for allegedly illegally obtaining hundreds of hectares of land and including in the residence of their Jati Umra.
“The Sharif family got thousands of land canals adjacent to the Jati Umra residence which was declared a residential area in 2014 and the former head of the Lahore Development Authority Ahad Cheema, the blue-eyed boy Shahbaz Sharif, played an important role in this matter. Former Lahore DCO Noorul Amin Mengal has also been included in the investigation, “said the official source.
Also this week, NAB Lahore prepared a corruption reference to Nawaz Sharif, Editor in Chief of the Jang Mir Shakilur Rehman Group and two others in the 54-canal land case and sent it to the chairman for approval. Retd Justice Iqbal is likely to approve it next week.
Commenting on NAB’s plan to submit new references to Sharif’s family, PML-N information secretary, Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “The purpose of such news is only to harass and insult [the Sharif family] through media campaigns. It doesn’t matter how many fictitious references [Prime Minister] “Imran Khan may be punished against Sharif’s family, his enormous corruption cannot be hidden behind such diversions,” he said.
The PML-N leader said the “NAB-Niazi alliance” had failed to construct false narratives by creating false references to Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and their family members. “There has been an unrelenting vicious campaign against Sharif’s family and despite all the power enjoyed, the corrupt PTI government led by Imran has not been able to prove a penny of corruption on them.”
Aurangzeb said the failure that began with the Panama Papers case had been reduced to drainage cases and cases involving private property and now ancestral property. “The unholy NAB-Niazi Alliance” doesn’t even feel ashamed when dragging a 90-year-old mother into her political victimization. The bureau is blind to the court ruling on Banigala, Zaman Park House sponsored by political ATMs, millions of flats in Grant Hyatt, 23 illegal secret accounts and billions distributed to Imran Khan from questionable people and organizations, “he said.
He said the abuse of Sharif’s family by NAB was very clear. “And when it can’t find anything to satisfy their grudges, it has fallen victim to female family members. But all this cannot frighten and silence PML-N, “he said, adding that Sharif’s family opposed all of this because they were innocent of imagination. “The real corruption and protectors of the corruptors are in the Prime Minister’s Building,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 16, 2020
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