–Anti-graft watchdog approves supplementary references against Sharifs, Dar
–Sharifs, including Shehbaz, Kulsoom, under scrutiny over suspected transactions
–NAB approves probes against individuals named in Panama Leaks
–Pervez Khattak, KP govt officials under corruption radar for first time
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Board (NAB) on Monday approved supplementary references against the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case besides approving several high-profile corruption probes against various influential personalities of the country.
The anti-graft bureau took this decision in its executive board meeting that was chaired by its chief Justice (r) Javed Iqbal in Islamabad.
In a post-meeting statement, the NAB clarified that all inquiries and investigations will be initiated on the alleged charges; however, the bureau will provide a chance to accused to clarify their position after initiating the inquiries.
Taking action against the individuals named in Panama Leaks, the NAB’s executive board approved inquiries against multiple individuals, including the filing of three supplementary references against the Sharif family.
The executive board approved supplementary references against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif and his family accused over corruption in Flagship Investment Limited, Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Investments, Avenfield Flats, and other fifteen companies.
The Supreme Court in Panama Papers’ July 28 verdict had ordered NAB to file graft reference against Nawaz Sharif, his sons, Hassan and Hussian Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar.
In the light of the same decision, the NAB also approved a supplementary reference against ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar for embezzlements and possessing assets beyond known sources of income.
Additionally, the bureau approved probes against various bigwigs, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Usman Saifullah Kakar, Anwar Saifullah, Salim Saifullah, Zulfikar Bukhari, Bashir Dawood, Maryam Dawood, and former Port Qasim Authority managing director Abdus Sattar Dero, for having offshore companies that were revealed in the wake of the Panama Papers.
PPP Senator Usman Saifullah Khan, Anwar Saifullah, Salim Saifullah and others will be investigated by the bureau for having 34 offshore companies, while Zulfiqar Bukhari, a close friend of PTI chief Imran Khan, will come under scrutiny for possessing assets beyond known sources of income and having at least fifteen offshore companies.
Bashir Dawood, Maryam Dawood and others will be probed for having offshore company in the light of the Panama Papers scandal.
The meeting also ordered a probe against Abdus Sattar Dero, former MD Port Qasim Authority for having offshore company in the Panama Papers scandal.
Taking an action on a complaint filed by the State Bank of Pakistan that pertained to suspected transactions, the anti-graft watchdog approved an inquiry against the owners of Chaudhry Sugar Mills— Mian Nawaz Sharif, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Kulsoom Nawaz, Maryam Safdar, and others.
Similarly, the NAB ordered an inquiry against Shehbaz Sharif, Fazal Dad, Masroor Anwar and others over a complaint made by the SBP against the accused over suspected transactions.
Similarly, in response to the SBP’s complaints of suspected transactions, the NAB board also approved inquiry against PPP leader Dr Asim Mehmood, Mahmoodul Hassan and others for possession of assets beyond known sources of income.
Another inquiry was approved against Malik Maqsood Ahmed and others for possessing assets beyond known sources of income.
DAR, ANUSHA, EX-PTA CHIEF:
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar, who is out of the country owing to ‘medical reasons’ will also face a probe by the anti-graft watchdog for illegally contracting a deal with the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGSMA) in violation of rules. Besides Dar, Federal Minister Anusha Rehman and former Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman Dr Ismail Shah will also face a probe in this regard.
PSM, SUI GAS AND OTHERS:
The NAB meeting also ordered inquiries against officials of Sui Southern Gas and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), who are accused of illegally closing down gas for consumers that caused losses to the national exchequer. Another probe was ordered against the PSM management for embezzlement in the provident fund and gratuity of employees, causing damage to the exchequer to the tune of Rs 7.50 billion.
The meeting also approved inquiry against certain officials of Karachi Development Authority (KDA) who were involved in china-cutting of residential plots.
The meeting also ordered a probe against Shell Pakistan Line Manager Yasir Effendi, Arshad Jalil, and others for allegedly purchasing aviation fuel on defence quota and selling it in the open market and causing Rs 2.3 billion losses to the exchequer.
The meeting also approved an inquiry against officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for issuing an illegal tender to the Hassas Construction which resulted in a loss of Rs 664.405 million.
In Punjab, the anti-graft bureau has also decided to launch a probe former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema and others for misuse of authority and embezzlement.
The bureaucrats in Punjab along with provincial ministers had raised a hue and cry following the arrest of Cheema for his alleged involvement in Ashiana Housing Scheme.
The meeting also approved an inquiry against Paragon City Pvt Ltd for cheating public at large and corrupt practices, besides an inquiry was also approved against the office-bearers of the Rawalpindi Railways Employees Cooperative Housing Society for encroaching upon Pakistan Railways’ lands and embezzlement in the company’s accounts.
Moreover, the NAB authorised an inquiry against officials of National Testing Services (NTS) and the health department for benefitting blue-eyed candidates in the NTS examination.
KP GOVT OFFICIALS:
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government officials will also face a probe for allowing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, to use the government helicopter in violation of rules.
The meeting also ordered probe against KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Chief Secretary Khalid Pervez and others for illegally leasing out 275 acres of forest land to the Siemens Group, causing financial losses to the exchequer.
The meeting also ordered probe against former Quetta Development Authority director general Noor Ahmed Peerkani and others for illegal china cutting of lands in the Chilton Housing Scheme.
The meeting also ordered an inquiry against Balochistan’s former food minister Izhar Hussain and others for embezzlement in wheat bags, causing a damage of Rs 211.848 million to the exchequer.