NAB grills Nawaz Sharif inside jail in vehicle misuse case

LAHORE: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz severely criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan after a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team grilled her father Nawaz Sharif in jail for alleged misuse of vehicles purchased for a conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) during his stint as premier.

The two-member NAB team quizzed the former prime minister for two-and-a-half-hours in Kot Lakhpat jail, where he is serving a seven-year imprisonment in the Al Azizia Mills corruption case.

A official told media that Mr Sharif insisted upon being given a questionnaire, to which he would reply with the help of his legal counsel. “However, NAB officials engaged him in one or another question related to his (previous) government’s decision to purchase, without paying import duties, 34 bulletproof vehicles from Germany for guests to the Saarc conference,” he said. These vehicles were allegedly used by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, according to NAB.

Taking exception to the NAB’s grilling of her father (in this case), Maryam Nawaz said: “Nawaz Sharif used bulletproof cars in the capacity of a prime minister. On the other hand, Imran Khan, who was not even part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) government (2013-18), misused its helicopter. No action has been taken against this fake prime minister so far as he appears to be above the law?..”

In a series of tweets Maryam further said the bulletproof cars that provided basis to NAB to try to make a case against Nawaz Sharif were now being used by the present premier. “PM Imran Khan, in the hope of securing some aid, even drives one of such cars for someone (a reference to PM Khan’s driving the car for the Saudi crown prince),” she said and wondered whether NAB would like to initiate a probe against Imran Khan now or would it wait till he leaves office.

“Had respect been commanded through any office then Prime Minister Imran Khan today would have been walking in pride. The one who steals people’s votes is called a fake prime minister and the one who comes to power through fair ballot is the real prime minister,” Maryam declared.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, the PML-N’s information secretary, said not a single corruption charge had been proved against Mr Sharif, but on the other hand Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan made billions of rupees through the income of sewing machines and PM’s buddy Jehangir Tareen laundered money through his personal staff and his cabinet member Faisal Vawda made offshore holdings but the NAB was not willing to probe them. “There should not be one Pakistan for Mr Sharif and another for Mr Khan,” she lamented.

Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan hit back at PML-N leaders’ assertions with her characteristic acerbity. She said Nawaz Sharif should find NAB’s queries about “misuse” of bulletproof cars “if he has committed no wrong”.

“Hurling allegations at Prime Minister Imran Khan will not help PML-N. The Sharifs are facing the law today because they lived like Mughal kings,” Ms Awan said.