LAHORE    -   The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal visited the NAB headquarters here on Thursday to get updates on the corruption cases, involving several members of the Sharif family. Director General Shahzad Saleem briefed the chairman on all such cases.

The NAB chairman’s visit to the provincial capital comes at a time when the Sharif family has been struggling to shift former prime minister and PML-N’s lifelong leader Nawaz Sharif abroad for medical treatment amid reports of his deteriorating health condition.

However, the deadlock between the ruling PTI and the PML-N over signing of the surety bonds in billions or rupees persists.

A NAB spokesman said the cases that remained under discussion included investigation against former Punjab chief minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza Shehbaz and Salman Shehbaz and others regarding assets beyond known sources of income.

The officers also discussed the ongoing inquiry against Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and nephew Yousaf Abbas besides Abdul Aziz and others in Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case.

The investigation against ex-chief financial officer Ikram Naveed and Ali Imran Yousaf, son-in-law of Shehbaz Sharif, in Punjab Power Development Company case was also discussed.

Similarly, investigation against former finance minister Ishaq Dar for having assets beyond his known sources of income, inquiry against former Punjab CM Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif in connection with expansion of Raiwind Road, and inquiry against Nawaz Sharif for illegally allotting LDA plots to blue-eyed persons were also discussed in detail.

Speaking on the occasion, NAB chief Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal clarified that the Bureau had no affiliation with any political party, group or individual, but the eradication of corruption from the country remained its sole concern. “NAB officers consider it as their national duty to wipe out the menace of corruption,” Iqbal said, and added that cases referred to the NAB fell into category of White Collar crimes in which procurement of documentary evidence was much more important. He warned that any kind of lapse on the part of any officer during the course of investigations would not be tolerated.

“NAB initiates investigations by seeing cases not faces as per law,” the chairman claimed. He asked investigation teams to develop strong cases so that these could be pursued in the courts in the light of evidences.

Iqbal directed the NAB officers to work as a unit since the concept of Combined Investigation Team had started yielding positive results.

He also asked the investigation officers to keep performing their duties regardless of the pressure, intimidation or attempts to bribe them.

The NAB chairman also ordered the officials to complete investigation into major corruption cases within fixed time period.

The NAB chief said that during the last couple of months the Bureau had recovered Rs71 billion from the corrupt elements. He informed that Rs500 million were recovered from the bank accounts of absconding accused Ishaq Dar, and the amount was handed to the Punjab government. He informed that NAB Lahore had decided to hand over possession of Gulberg residence of former finance minister Ishaq Dar, measuring four-kanal, to the Punjab government, which would later be sold out.

Iqbal said that NAB Lahore had recovered properties worth one billion rupees from the accused Ikram Naveed in Punjab Power Development Company case which had already been handed to the government and the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (ERRA).