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May 31, 2019

NAB files reference against Sindh PA Speaker Durrani, family members

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May 31, 2019

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference with the accountability courts administrative judge on Thursday against Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, members of his family, brother and others for possessing assets worth around Rs1.6 billion allegedly made through illegal means.

The NAB maintained that Durrani could not account for the difference of Rs1,610,669,528 between his declared total income from 1985 to 2018 and the assets, including properties, vehicles and others valuables, against 19 people, including his wife Naheed, son Shahbaz, daughters Sanam, Sonya, Shahana and Sara, brother Agha Masihuddin, Zulfiqar Dahar, Shamshad Khatoon, Munawar Ali, Ghulam Murtaza, Muhammad Ifran, Shakeel Soomro, Gulbahar Baloch, Aslam Langah, Tufail Shah, Mitha Khan, Muhammad Shah and Gulzar Ahmed, of collusion.

The anti graft watchdog attached a list of 27 declared and undeclared assets, including properties, investments, vehicles valued at Rs 479.4 million whereas the accused had declared them to be worth Rs151.6 million. Furthermore, the NAB showed Durrani the beneficiary of seven benami properties, of these six in DHA and one in Malir, worth over Rs1 billion, that were allegedly purchased in the name of his servants. It added that six of these properties were sold to different people while one is still in his possession. The NAB maintained that Durrani provided incomplete and partial details of his assets and income but the details were obtained from Federal Board of Revenue and Election Commission of Pakistan. It added that the total declared income of his family is Rs110.4 million whereas he declared it to be Rs82 million through salary, agriculture, business, rental, bank and fishponds.

The NAB reference alleged that Durrani after becoming minister for Sindh local bodies and as the speaker accumulated assets and pecuniary resources through illegal means and in connivance with the others accused in the reference. It added that a supplementary reference will be filed after the arrest of those absconding. The NAB prayed that the case should proceed further against those named in the reference as there is sufficient “incriminating” material to justify the reference. It stated that the accused had committed corruption as defined in sections 9(a)(iii)(iv)(v)(xii) and 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

The court directed NAB to provide copies of the reference to the defendants and adjourned the case until June 17. The court is yet to rule whether it accepts the reference for trial or not. Durrani was arrested on February 20 from a hotel in Islamabad and later brought to Karachi. He is currently lodged in Landhi jail on a judicial remand.

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