ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has moved to reopen three corruption cases of the Sharifs while the bureau is also in possession of six pending investigations and two inquires against them.
The Sharifs, however, say that one of the three references was already quashed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) while they were never heard in another and one was pending before the LHC. According to them, the investigations and inquiries were never made references as they were false and baseless. The PML-N has stated that Hudabia Paper Mills reference was quashed by the LHC in the ‘90s and Musharraf after coming into power again made a new reference of the same case closed by the LHC years before. In one assets reference, the Sharifs say that they were never heard properly and a third loan default case is pending before the LHC.
Three references were filed against the Sharif brothers and other members of their family during the rule of former president Pervez Musharraf. These references were adjourned sine die during Musharraf’s regime after the Sharif family was deported to Saudi Arabia.
In one corruption reference — State vs Hudaibia Paper Mills (Pvt) Ltd — nine members of the Sharif family were accused of committing an alleged corruption of Rs642.743 million. As per the NAB allegations, the accused deposited the ill-gotten money in the accounts opened in other persons’ names and used the money from these accounts to pay off the loans of the Sharif companies.
Muhammad Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Mrs Shamim Akhtar (mother of Nawaz Sharif), Mrs Sabiha Abbas, Mrs Maryam Safdar and former federal minister M Ishaq Dar were the accused in this reference.
The second corruption reference under the title of State vs Muhammad Nawaz Sharif etc is about the Raiwind assets. The main allegation in this reference is that the accused had acquired vast tracts of land on which a number of palatial houses and mansions were constructed with pecuniary resources, which appeared to be grossly disproportionate to their known sources of income. As per NAB allegations, there involves an amount Rs247.352 million that is under question. Apart from Mian Nawaz Sharif, his mother was also an accused in this case.
In the third corruption reference under the title of State vs Ittefaq Foundries etc, Nawaz Sharif, his brother Abbas Sharif and Kamal Qureshi were allegedly involved in a bank default case. The main allegation against the accused in this case was that Ittefaq Foundries Ltd obtained cash finance from the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). As per the NAB allegations, the company willfully defaulted in 1994. It is pending before LHC.
All these references were either filed or investigated in 1999-2000 by the accountability court in Attock. The cases, later, were shifted to Rawalpindi after the establishment of accountability courts there. These cases were adjourned sine die after the Sharif family went to Saudi Arabia.
The case of bank default against the Sharifs is pending with the LHC where the Sharifs with the agreement of the bank had offered their mortgaged assets to be sold to repay the default amount. However, it is not being done as a family dispute has erupted between the Sharifs over the property already offered for sale.
Two NAB cases against Nawaz Sharif and others have already been disposed of in which all the accused have been acquitted. These cases include plane hijacking case and helicopter case. In the helicopter reference — filed against Nawaz Sharif, he has already been acquitted by the LHC. The accountability court, during Musharraf’s rule, sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 14-year imprisonment and fined him Rs20 million in the helicopter reference eight years ago. The LHC Rawalpindi division bench of Justice Tariq Shamim and Justice Saeed Ijaz, however, declared the accountability court verdict null and void.
There are six investigations against Sharif pending before the NAB following chairman NAB’s order. These pending investigations include (i) case of illegal appointments in the FIA against Nawaz Sharif, (ii) misuse of authority by Nawaz Sharif as ex-chief minister Punjab in the construction of road from Raiwind to Sharif family house causing loss of Rs125 million, (iii) Sharif Trust case against Nawaz Sharif/Sharif Trust involving allegation of money laundering, misappropriation of trust funds and acquisition of benami assets in the name of Sharif Trust, (iv) London properties case against Nawaz Sharif and others regarding owning of Aven Field properties, (v) Illegal appointments in PIA allegedly by Nawaz Sharif, and (vi) Corruption in the allotment of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) plots involving ex-CM Nawaz Sharif, ex-DG LDA Brig (r) Manzoor Malik, ex-Director Estate and Shahid Rafi.
Two pending inquiries against Sharifs in the NAB include a complaint of allotment of LDA plots and another complaint about alleged misappropriation of government property by allotting 12 plots to Mian Attaullah instead of one in Gulshan-e-Ravi Scheme thereby causing loss of Rs20 million to the state.