ISLAMABAD/Lahore - The Islamabad Accountability Court (AC) on Thursday ordered to confiscate the property owned by former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Toshakhana vehicles’ reference after he was declared absconder.

The property include 1,650-Kanal agricultural land in Lahore, a Mercedes, a Land Cruiser, two tractors, local and foreign bank accounts, a bungalow in Murree and 102-Kanal land in Sheikhupura.

AC-III Judge Asghar Ali conducted the hearing on Toshakhana reference moved by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in which former president Asif Ali Zardari and ex-prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani were also named as accused. Yousaf Raza Gilani appeared before the court. However, Asif Ali Zardari, Khawaja Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed filed one day exemption requests from the hearing which were accepted by the court. At the outset of hearing, the NAB officials produced the details pertaining to the assets of Nawaz Sharif who had been declared absconder.  

The court ordered NAB to confiscate the property owned by the court absconder Nawaz Sharif. 

Meanwhile, Zardari’s lawyer Farooq Hamid Naek conducted cross examining with the prosecution witness Imran Zafar who told the court that he had joined Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in 2010 and promoted to the post of deputy director in 2018. 

To a query, the witness said he had been working as record keeper in ECP, adding that he had provided the details regarding assets of former president Asif Zardari to NAB on the directives of chief election commissioner (CEC). The lawyer objected that but the witness had not produced the letter of the CEC in that regard.  

Naek said the witness had produced no such order along with the case documents.

He produced the letter of the CEC to the judge and said the ECP had not given any such permission in that document. Deputy Prosecutor General NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi objected over the defense queries and said he was trying to pressurize the witness.

Another court initiates process to declare Nawaz Proclaimed Offender

The court room witnessed the cross-talk among the defense lawyer and NAB prosecutor on the occasion.

To a question, the witness said he had received letter on February 12, 2019 and then appeared before the NAB investigation officer on the same day.

To this, the lawyer said the witness did not present the letter in which the NAB information officer directed him to appear on the same date.

The witness said he had not attested the nomination papers of Asif Zardari but he had verified his assets.

To this, the lawyer said there was not his stamp on the documents.

Imran Zafar said he had not given any false statement before the court, adding that Asif Ali Zardari never signed any documents in front of him.

The second NAB witness Zubair Sidiqui informed the court during the cross-examining that he had been working in the cabinet division as confidential officer. He had appeared three times in NAB Toshakhana case. He produced documents copies related to the vehicles of Toshakhana. The court ordered the witness to come up on next hearing with original documents. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till October 13.

Meanwhile, an accountability court on Thursday initiated process to declare former PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as a proclaimed offender in an illegal plot allotment reference.

The court sought a report from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in this regard. Accountability Court Judge Asad Ali conducted the proceedings wherein Jang /Geo group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman was also produced.

The NAB investigation officer submitted a report about arrest warrants of Nawaz Sharif and stated that the warrants had been executed through the Pakistani High Commission in London. He further submitted that Nawaz Sharif was deliberately evading court proceedings.

He requested the court to initiate proceedings to declare Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offender. At this, the court initiated process to declare Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offender and sought a report from the bureau.

The court adjourning further hearing till October 15, extended judicial remand of Mir Shakil. It is pertinent to mention that the court had previously issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Nawaz Sharif and ordered to get them executed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The NAB had filed a reference against Mir Shakil and others. Besides Mir Shakil, Nawaz Sharif, former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Humayun Faiz, former Director Land Development Mian Bashir Ahmed had been named as the accused in Rs 143.5 millions Reference. The NAB had alleged that Mir Shakil obtained illegal exemption of 54 plots of 1-Kanal each in Johar Town, Lahore, with the connivance of Nawaz Sharif, the then chief minister of Punjab, in violation of the exemption policy in 1986.