ISLAMABAD -  The National Accountability Bureau has requested the interior ministry to place the names of disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Muhammad Safdar and his two sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz on the Exit Control List.

NAB wrote a letter to the ministry asking for placing their names on the ECL as they are facing corruption trial in the accountability court as a result of references filed by the bureau.

The letter was written just a day after Nawaz and Maryam made an appeal to the court to grant them two-week immunity from appearing at the cases hearings.

The letter while mentioning charges against the Sharif family said that in compliance of the Supreme Court order dated 28-7-2017, references were filed in the Accountability Court at Islamabad against them which are pending adjudication.

It said, “Further investigations are under process while the accused persons did not join the proceedings at NAB despite having been served summons and there is every likelihood that they can flee abroad to avoid the process of law.”

About the cases of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, the anti-graft body said that the accused persons have been declared proclaimed offenders by the trial court and would be arrested on arrival for production before the court for finalisation of the cases pending against them.

Talking to The Nation, a senior NAB officer said that it would depend on the interior ministry whether it places the names of Sharifs on the ECL or not.

He pointed out that NAB had also recommended the ministry to put the name of Senator Ishaq Dar on ECL and even sent three reminders, but the ministry did not acted on Bureau’s recommendation. He added that the court has issued non-bailabe arrest warrants for the ex-minister in a corruption case.

Supplementary references

In a related development, it was learnt that NAB has filed two supplementary references against Nawaz Sharif and his sons in Al-Azizia Steel Mills, and Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

In a statement, NAB said that its chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal approved filing two supplementary references against the former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his two sons – Hassan and Hussain. These references have been prepared in light of fresh evidence collected during the investigation, it added.

Last week, the NAB had summoned Nawaz Sharif to record his statement in the corruption reference relating to Flagship Investment, which had the ownership of 16 offshore companies of Sharif family, at its Rawalpindi office but he ignored the notice and did not appear.

The NAB had already decided to file a supplementary reference against the Sharif family in the main Flagship Investment reference after its team gathered information about the family’s offshore companies during its recent visit to the United Kingdom.

A three-member NAB team, headed by Director-General (Operations) Zahir Shah, went to London last month for investigation in the Flagship Investment reference.

The NAB team met with British officials and collected verified data of around 10 companies of the Sharif family from the UK National Crime Agency and the Land Registry Office. It also remained in contact with the Pakistan High Commission in the UK during the visit.

The companies data of which was collected included Flagship Investment, Harstone Properties Limited, Que Holding Limited, Kuiniteaten Plus Limited, Flagship Securities, Flagship Development Limited and Hiltron International Limited.

The NAB Lahore has also filed a supplementary reference against the Sharif family in the Avenfield reference.

The bureau has also gathered the contents of Hussain Nawaz’s interview with anchorperson Hamid Mir. The script of the interview will be part of the supplementary reference. Earlier, a NAB request for a copy of the interview was refused by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra), which said it had only 90 days record of TV programmes.

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI