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NAB informed JIT about Nawaz Sharif-Shahbaz Sharif pending decision

13 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has informed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that four cases, two investigations and one inquiry against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have been pending decision.

The cases are: Avenfield properties case, Sharif Trust case, Raiwind Road’s construction case, illegal appointments in the Federal Investigation Agency and two investigations and an inquiry related to misuse of authority in allotment of plots in the Lahore Deve­lopment Authority.

According to volume-II of the JIT report, the NAB chief tried to clear himself for not taking any action against the Sharifs for over a decade though they were facing serious corruption charges in different cases.

However, the JIT observed that NAB did not perform its duty in Sharifs’ cases.

“Even after highlighting of Panama [Papers] issue in the media and cognisance by the courts, the basic information has not even been collected till date, rather on the pretext of Panama [Papers] case these investigations against Sharif family have been allowed to remain on the back burner. Thus it can be concluded that NAB is not actively pursuing the cases and matters are being delayed on flimsy pretexts, right from day one,” the JIT observed.

The JIT said all the cases against the Sharif family were initiated in 1999-2000 but since the beginning, except filing four references in 1999-2000, no serious effort has ever been made regarding rest of the cases by the successive NAB authorities. “In fact most of the time these cases remained dormant or pended on one pretext on the other,” it added.

The JIT was informed that the cases pending with NAB, including a case pertaining to Avenfield properties, and it was communicated to NAB headquarters by Lahore NAB that no record was available with them other than a one-page complaint and no progress has been made on the case since its authorisation.

In February 2015, the Lahore NAB initiated a letter addressing NAB headquarters to obtain certified copies of Avenfield properties from the UK through Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA). However, in June 2016, the Lahore NAB said that details required for sending an MLA were not available with them, therefore, the MLA request could not be initiated due to lack of information regarding the Avenfield properties so far.

The NAB chief said there was another case related to Sharif trust which was pending when he took charge as NAB chairman. “The case pertains to the allegation against the Sharif family that they received millions of rupees allegedly through underhand methods using the Sharif trust as pretext. The allegations further included that accounts of the Sharif trust are not being subjected to audit and the Sharif family is keeping “benami” assets in the name of the trust. The case was initiated in 2000 but files related to the case do not show efforts for collection of any record pertaining to the matter,” he said.

Regarding the case against Nawaz Sharif pertaining to illegal appointment in FIA, he said the case had been finalised by the Rawalpindi NAB and had been forwarded to the NAB headquarters for a decision in an executive board meeting.

He said there was another case against Mr Sharif related to construction of Raiwind Road which had also been finalised by the Lahore NAB and forwarded to the NAB headquarters for a decision, however, some queries had been raised by the NAB headquarters which were being addressed.

The JIT was informed that a reference related to Hudaibya Paper Mills, willful loan default case and Raiwind Estate quashed by the Lahore High Court. “I did not prefer to file an appeal before the Supreme Court of Pakistan because I was advised by the then Prosecutor General Accoun­tability K.K. Agha not to do so,” the chairman said.

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