NAB to freeze Shehbaz's assets

Also plans to open another inquiry against Shehbaz

From Abid Usman
LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday issued orders to freeze assets owned by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz and Salman Shehbazin different cities including Lahore, Chiniot, Haripur and Abbottabad, citing corruption offences.
The orders will remain in place for 15 days, during which NAB will file an application in the relevant accountability court for their confirmation.
The anti-corruption watchdog issued six orders, each listing separate properties acquired by Shehbaz, Hamza and Salman all three of whom are nominated in corruption cases being probed by NAB.
According to the bureau, the evidence collected against the three PML-N leaders so far had provided NAB with “reasonable grounds for believing” that Shehbaz, Salman and Hamza were involved in “offenses of corruption and corrupt practices”.
The cases against Shehbaz and his sons are those of money laundering and assets beyond known income. According to NAB, it has found that Shehbaz acquired several properties now frozen in the name of his wives, Nusrat Shehbaz and Tehmina Durrani, in Lahore, Abbottabad and Haripur.
Hamza and Salman also acquired several properties in Lahore and Chiniot, which have now been frozen by NAB. Nearly all the properties highlighted in the orders issued by NAB are located in residential areas.
Meanwhile, The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday while taking action against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, decided open another corruption case inquiry.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the anti-graft watchdog’s Executive board s meeting in Islamabad, presided over by chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.
The PML-N president is accused of illegal allotment of Cholistan Authority’s land. The anti-graft agency chairman also approved filing of six corruption references, while any inquiry has also been approved against former federal minister Baligh-ur-Rehman.
The bureau approved filing of illegal contract reference against Sikander Javed and others in Saaf Panicase.
The declaration of the NAB executive board meeting further stated that reference against former Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) chairperson Farzana Raja has been approved while the bureau also approved legal action against Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader Nisar Khuhro over corruption charges. The NAB also approved an investigation into assets beyond known sources of income owned by PML-N’s National Assembly member Rana Sanaullah the former law minister who is under judicial remand in narcotics case.
Later, the NAB chief said that priority of NAB was to eradicate corruption from the country besides recovering the looted money from plunderers.
“NAB is now concentrating on taking mega corruption cases to their logical conclusion,” he said.
By pursuing the policy of Accountability for All, he said, NAB had recovered Rs 73 billion directly or indirectly over the last 25 months. The NAB chief said the bureau had filed 630 corruption references in accountability courts over the past 25 months and it was striving to recover billions of rupees looted from the people. He said 1,270 corruption references involving Rs910 billion were currently being heard in different accountability courts of the country.
Iqbal directed all directors general to ensure completion of complaint verifications, inquiries and investigations within the prescribed timeframe. The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had arrested Mr Khan on July 1 and claimed to have recovered 15kg heroin from his possession.
The FIR was lodged under section 9 (C) of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act 1997, which carries death penalty or life imprisonment or a jail term that may extend to 14 years, along with a fine up to Rs1 million.
On the other hand, the executive board of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has given the approval to file six new corruption reference during a session held under the chair of Justice (Retd) JavedIqbal.
A declaration of the anti-corruption watchdog confirmed that the institution gave approval to file six references against financial irregularities. A reference will be filed against the former chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The institution will file corruption references against Sikander Javed and others over charges of illegally awarding contracts.
The anti-graft institution will go-ahead for legal steps against four advertisement companies over handing over the contract of running an illegal ad campaign. The legal steps are being taken following the financial loss to the national exchequer worth Rs1.46 billion, the declaration said.
An inquiry will be initiated against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central leader Nisar Khuhro, whereas, the NAB’s executive board will hold an inquiry against former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in Cholistan Development Authority case.
Balighur Rehman, Chaudhry Muhammad Umer Mehmood, Rana Sanaullah, Agha Siraj Durran, Senator Anwarul Haq and Abul Rauf Khosa will also face inquiries by the anti-corruption watchdog after the approval of NAB executive board, the declaration added.
The decisions were taken by NAB chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal while chairing a meeting of the executive board of anti-graft watchdog in Islamabad. The meeting was being attended by the deputy chairman NAB, prosecutor general NAB, DG operations and other staff.
Chairman NAB addressing the meeting said that the mega corruption cases will be led to their logical end. He said corruption is cancer and the biggest obstacle in the development of the country. The NAB chairman said as many as 630 graft references were filed by the NAB during the last 25 months.
He also said that the NAB has so far recovered 73 billion rupees and deposited in the national exchequer.
Agencies add: Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Tuesday chairing a meeting of the executive board of anti-graft watchdog in Islamabad. The meeting is being attended by the deputy chairman NAB, prosecutor general NAB, DG operations and other staff.
The NAB board is expected to give approve number of references, investigations and inquiries in today’s meeting.
Chairman NAB addressing the meeting said that the mega corruption cases will be led to their logical end. He said corruption is a cancer and biggest obstacle in development of the country.