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October 11, 2018

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NAB team grills Salman Shahbaz in assets case

LAHORE: The Combined Investigation Team of the National Accountability Bureau on Thursday grilled Salman Shahbaz for more than one and a half hours in an inquiry against him and his father Shahbaz Sharif, related to assets beyond known sources of income.

The News has learnt that Salman Shahbaz faced questions of the three-member Combined Investigation Team (CIT) of the NAB for more than one and a half hours. It has been learnt that most questions of the CIT to Salman were related to the money inflow and outflow of Sharif Family businesses. The CIT handed over a questionnaire to Salman, directing him to bring the filled questionnaire on his next hearing going to be held after a week, most probably on October 17. The NAB has also directed Salman to bring record to corroborate his stance.

Sources say Salman Shahbaz is a member Board of Directors of 29 companies owned by the Sharif family as a representative of his father Shahbaz Sharif. The Sharif Family owns businesses related to Sugar Mills, Textile Mills, Steel Mills, Paper Mills, Poultry Feed and Livestock. Salman is also a member of Board of Directors of the Chiniot Power Company. The sources say the Chiniot Power Company had obtained a loan of Rs 7 billion from banks but isn’t functional.

Moreover, the sources in the bureau claimed that the CIT was investigating Shahbaz Sharif on a daily basis, saying that the Ashiana scam was a classic example of white collar crime. However, they claimed that the former chief minister was yet to satisfy the bureau investigators.

The NAB accused Shahbaz Sharif of ordering cancellation of the award of Ashiana-i-Iqbal project contract to the successful bidder, Chaudhry Latif & Sons. Fawad Hassan, who is stated to be a close aide to the Sharif brothers, worked as secretary implementation to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif in 2013. While misusing his position, he allegedly called the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) Tahir Khursheed and Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Project Director Ali Moazzam in his office and directed them to cancel M/s Chaudhry Latif & Sons’ contract. The firm had been working on the project for eight months when Fawad Hassan called both officials and asked them to cancel the contract.

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