ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau has clarified that the Prosecutor General Accountability (PGA) is not against filing an appeal in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case as the bureau has already informed the Supreme Court that an appeal will be filed in due course of time.

The Bureau contested a news report titled “Hudaibiya Mills case: Prosecution wing yet to submit input”, which stated the PGA was not in favour of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court. The report was published in The Nation on September 7, 2017.

“The Prosecutor General Accountability as per section 8 (b) of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, acts on the tasks referred or assigned to him by the Chairman NAB and has no independent obligation under this provision of law,” the NAB said in a clarification issued on Tuesday.

It further said it was incorrect that any query was sent to the PGA for seeking his response regarding filling of an appeal in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case with the Supreme Court.

The Nation, however, stands by the information and facts that a message was sent to the PGA before filing of news report. The PGA did see Whatsapp messages regarding the story but did not respond.

According to documents available with The Nation, the NAB chairman chaired a meeting on July 20, 2017 at the NAB headquarters and discussed all options regarding filing of an appeal in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case and also the JIT report in the Panama Papers case.

The meeting was attended by NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar, Director-General (Operations) Zahir Shah and the officials of the prosecution department.

The DG Operations and Prosecution Department briefed the meeting on the JIT report and about the course of action in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

The DG operations told the meeting that a number of new evidences have been collected in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case by the JIT, which required further examination and evaluation. He strongly recommended that a reinvestigation into Hudaibiya Paper Mills case be initiated.

During the briefing, the NAB chairman asked about the new evidence in the case. The DG operations informed that “prima facie considerable new materials have come on record, which need to be evaluated and need a look into it.”

The Acting PGA , while agreeing with the view points of DG (Ops), said the matter of reinvestigation was not allowed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) vide its judgment in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.  He said that he recommended that a proper course of action will be that to file an appeal in the SC against the LHC judgment in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case and the assets cases.

NAB Deputy Chairman Tajwar supported the points of DG Operations and agreed with the course of action recommended by the acting PGA .

The documents also disclosed that “after the deliberations at length it was unanimously agreed to prepare a case for lodging a CPLA in the SC , which will be filed on the return of PGA from visit abroad.”

Spokesperson NAB Asim Ali Nawazish told The Nation, NAB Prosecutor General Accountability (PGA) Waqas Qadeer Dar had returned to Pakistan just two days after the meeting.

On July 21, the additional prosecutor general accountability (AGPA) had also informed the apex court that the national anti-corruption watchdog had decided to reopen the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case of 2000 and it would file an appeal in this regard soon.