NAB approves four references against Sharif family, Dar

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Executive Board on Thursday approved the filing of three corruption references against members of the Sharif family and one against Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, however, sources said that the Hudaibia Paper Mills case has been kept pending as the bureau has sought legal assistance in the matter.

The meeting was chaired by NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.

According to details, the references will be filed in accountability courts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

A well-placed source in NAB told Pakistan Today that the bureau will file more references against the Sharif family in the coming days, as it was awaiting replies of letters written to MLAs.

“The references can be filed separately but it’s likely that NAB will file them as supplementary references to the ones approved on Thursday,” he said.

In its judgement in the Panama Papers case on July 28, the Supreme Court had ordered NAB to file references against Nawaz Sharif, his children Hussain, Hasan and Maryam, son-in-law MNA Capt (r) Safdar and Ishaq Dar. The accountability bureau was given six weeks, from the date of the court’s order, to file the references in accountability courts.

The NAB executive board meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday but it was postponed for a day as the bureau’s prosecutor general was in Lahore.

According to reports, NAB had informed Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the monitoring judge of the case, that they will file the references in the courts by Friday — the deadline set by the apex court.

NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family, while the bureau’s Lahore office has prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

On Tuesday, NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry rejected recommendations by the bureau’s regional chiefs in Rawalpindi and Lahore to freeze assets of Sharif family members and Dar. Chaudhry also rejected the recommendation to add the names of Sharif, Hasan, Hussain and Dar on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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The SC on July 28, had ordered NAB to file a reference against Nawaz, Maryam, Hussain, Hasan and Capt (r) Safdar, relating to the Avenfield properties (flats 16, 16-A, 17 and 17-A Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom).

“In preparing and filing this Reference, the NAB shall also consider the material already collected during the course of investigations conducted earlier, as indicated in the detailed judgments,” the court ruled.

The court also ordered the filing of a reference against Nawaz, Hussain and Hasan regarding the Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

The court had also called for filing a reference against Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income.

The SC also ordered NAB to include in its proceedings all other persons, including Sheikh Saeed [nephew of Dar’s wife], Musa Ghani [son of a retired officer from London Stock Exchange], Kashif Masood Qazi [Nawaz’s friend], Javaid Kiyani, and National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, who have any direct or indirect nexus or connection with the actions of Nawaz, Hussain, Hasan, Maryam and Dar, leading to acquisition of assets and funds beyond their known sources of income.

A reference was also ordered against Nawaz, Hussain and Hasan regarding the companies mentioned in paragraph nine of the judgment in the Panama Papers case.

The court also gave NAB the option to file supplementary reference(s) “if and when any other asset, which is not prima facie reasonably accounted for, is discovered”.

 

 

 

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