ISLAMABAD -  The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will file references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others in Islamabad/ Rawalpindi Accountability Courts on Thursday, The Nation has learnt reliably.

Well-placed sources said that NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry will call a meeting of the executive board on Wednesday to discuss the final drafts of the references. The NAB executive board will most probably accept the recommendations of the Combined Investigation Team to put the names of Sharifs, Dar and others on the exit control list (ECL) besides freezing their assets. 

The deadline for filing the references against the accused is September 8.

Last week, the NAB chairman and deputy chairman confirmed to the media that the bureau would follow the apex court’s orders and file references against the disqualified PM, his children and others within the given timeframe.

Sources said the NAB Combined Investigation Team has completed its final report and submitted it to the operations division last week. The sources said the operations division has forwarded the investigators’ report to the prosecution wing to prepare the references against the Sharif family and others. They said the prosecution wing has prepared the draft of the references and it will present them before the executive board on September 6 to get permission to file theses references in courts.

The SC in its final judgment in the Panamagate case had directed the anti-graft body to investigate the four references against Nawaz Sharif, his children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Nawaz, his son-in-law Capt retired Safdar and Ishaq Dar and file them in accountability courts within six weeks.

Following the court’s order, the NAB divided the four references between Lahore and Rawalpindi offices and also constituted a 14-member Combined Investigation Team and it started work on the basis of the Joint Investigation Team’s Panama Papers report and prepared the references accordingly. 

NAB investigators had summoned Nawaz, his children, Dar, Safdar, President National Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmed and Javeed Kiyani with instructions to appear before the CIT and record their statements. But, only Ahmed and Kiyani followed the NAB notices and recorded their statements.

Sharif, his children, and Dar contended that they would not appear before the NAB investigation team until their appeals against the Panama Papers verdict were not adjudicated. The Sharifs had also asked the NAB to send them a questionnaire in this regard.

The NAB investigation team had also written to the State Bank of Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the Federal Board of Revenue and others and had sought bank account details, business/companies details, tax return records of the former PM, his children and Dar and his family and the NBP president.

All the departments have provided all details of the Sharif family and Dar to the NAB investigation team.

Last Tuesday, the NAB Rawalpindi investigation team quizzed Wajid Zia, who headed the Joint Investigation Team in the Panama Papers case about Volume-10 of its report. Zia also appeared before NAB Lahore investigation team on August 30 and recorded his statement as a witness in two references being probed by the bureau against the Sharif family.

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI