Pakistan's anti-graft agency has approved the filing of two additional corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the accountability court. The National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) regional board, under the chairmanship of its Director General Shahzad Saleem, convened on Friday. The board discussed the additional corruption cases against 69-year-old Nawaz, his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz and 13 others in money laundering and possession of assets beyond known sources of income investigations.
Similarly, the board has also approved filing another case against Nawaz Sharif, Geo Media Group founder Mir Shakilur Rahman and two others in a 54-kanal land case.
NAB-Lahore has forwarded both cases to its chairman justice (R) Javed Iqbal for his final approval before filing it in the accountability court. “The references against the Sharif family members in the two cases will be filed in the accountability court, Lahore, next week after the approval of the NAB chairman,” an official told PTI.
In the money laundering and income beyond means corruption case, the Sharif family is accused of swindling 7 billion Pakistani Rupees. “Nawaz, Shahbaz and Maryam have been declared prime suspects in this case," the official said, adding that the NAB will produce 100 prosecution witnesses against the suspects.
In the other corruption case, the three-time prime minister is accused of misuse of authority in allotting land along the Lahore canal to Shakilur Rahman in violation of rules in 1986. Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab at the time. Under the Lahore Development Authority exemption policy, not more than 15 plots measuring one kanal each could be exempted to Rahman.
The NAB has made 16 prosecution witnesses part of this case. Since Sharif did not respond to any of the NAB’s summons, his arrest warrants have already been issued and the bureau has moved the accountability court to declare him a proclaimed offender. Rahman is in judicial remand since he was arrested on March 12. Presently, he is in hospital on medical grounds.
The NAB Lahore on Friday also initiated another probe against Nawaz, Shahbaz and Maryam for acquiring thousands of kanals in violation of rules making it part of their Jati Umra Raiwind Lahore residence. Nawaz left for London in November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him four weeks permission to go abroad for his heart condition.
He had submitted an undertaking to the court to return to Pakistan, citing his record of facing the law and justice within four weeks or as soon as he is declared healthy and fit to travel by doctors. Nawaz was given bail in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case in which he was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. Nawaz Sharif, who was diagnosed with an immune system disorder, has been advised by the PTI government's panel of doctors to go abroad for treatment. He had been diagnosed with a coronary disease.
In London, he underwent comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation and investigations at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital. Maryam recently said her father is a high-risk patient and therefore his cardiac catheterisation/coronary intervention has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nawaz's personal physician Dr Adnan Khan said the former premier has been diagnosed with "complicated coronary artery/ischemic heart disease with significant disease burden."