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Nawaz Sharif-family members failed to appear before NAB

21 August, 2017

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Nawaz Sharif-family members failed to appear before NAB.

Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Safdar and her husband Captain (r) Safdar had been summoned by the NAB to appear individually between 10am to 2pm on Sunday but none of them turned up, NAB spokesperson Asim Ali Nawazish told Daily Times.

The notices were issued to all five members of Sharif family on Friday to appear before NAB’s Lahore office on Sunday. Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar had received the notices. However, Hassan and Hussain were out of the town, and hence could not receive the notices, according to sources.

A six-member NAB team from Rawalpindi, headed by Director General Saleem Shahzad, had reached Lahore on Sunday morning to interrogate the Sharif family regarding Avenfield flats but nobody turned up.

Earlier on Aug 15, the NAB had summoned Sharif family to appear before it in Lahore on August 18 in a case pertaining to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, but they did not turn up claiming that they did not receive any notice from the anti-graft body.

The family has reportedly decided not to appear before the NAB until Nawaz Sharif’s plea seeking review of Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case and an another application requesting to suspend the operation of the verdict are pending with the apex court.

According to sources, the NAB has decided to send another (the third) notice to the Sharif family. A case will be filed against them and the Supreme Court will be requested to issue arrest warrants and if they again do not appear. NAB sources claimed that in case of non-appearance, Sharif and his family members could also be declared proclaimed offenders and their properties be confiscated.

Independent observers believe that NAB’s probe into large-scale corruption allegations against Sharif family could set the standards for accountability in the country for all times to come, adding that these cases are an ‘acid test’ for the ousted premier, who is contesting his case both in the court of law as well as what he calls ‘people’s court’.

Disqualifying Nawaz Sharif under Article 62(1)( f) of the constitution, a five-member Supreme Court bench in its July 28 verdict had asked NAB to file four references before the Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the JIT as well as that already available with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the anti-graft body.

According to the court order, NAB has to file a reference against Nawaz Sharif; his children Maryam Safdar, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz; and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar over four upscale Avenfield flats in London. Another reference against Sharif and his sons about Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment and one regarding 16 other companies were also ordered by the court.

The companies are Flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE (Dubai).

The fourth reference has to be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income. To monitor and supervise the work of NAB as well as to oversee the proceedings in the accountability court, the Supreme Court has nominated one of its judges, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, whose nomination has been challenged by the ousted premier in his review petition against the Panama Papers case verdict.

The deposed prime minister is likely to leave for London on August 24 for his medical checkup. This is Sharif’s first visit to London after his removal from power by the Supreme Court following months of hearings in a case related to corruption charges against Sharif family.

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