LAHORE   -   As investigations are going on against former Punjab chief minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, his sons Hamza and Suleman in assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, the National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday seized 13 factories and business companies, a poultry form, 10 properties and two luxury vehicles of their family.

This means these assets worth billions of rupees cannot be sold or transferred to anybody. The anti-graft institution has written ‘most urgent’ letters to the relevant authorities to ensure that none of the factories, properties or vehicles is sold /transferred. PM’s Special Assistant on Accountability Shehzad Akbar alleged in a late night TV interview that these assets had been made from the “TT transactions”.

He also said that steps were being taken to bring back to Pakistan Mian Shehbaz Sharif’s sons living in London for the past several years. In case they did not come, their properties would be sold and proceeds deposited in the national kitty.  The factories and companies for which the attachment order has been passed are: Ramzan Sugar Mills; European Asian Trading Corporation Pvt. Ltd; Madina Trading Pvt. Ltd; Sharif Feed Mills Pvt Ltd; Sharif Feed Mills; Madina Construction Company; Sharif Poultry Farms; Sharif Dairy Farms; Ramzan Energy Limited; Sharif Milk Products; Crystal Plastic Pvt; Chiniot Power; AG Energy Consultants; Al-Arabia Sugar Mills and Unitas Power Ltd.

The properties attached by the NAB are: (96-H Model Town, 87-H Model Town; House No: 8/7, Block A, DHA Lahore; House No 8/8, Block A, DHA, Lahore; Plot No. 48, 49, 50 and 51 Judicial Colony; Nishat Lodges Dounga Gali; Cottage No 23, 19, Whispering Pines Resorts, Pir Sohawa; (another plot Khasra No 371 (district Haripur).

It may be pointed out that while the NAB is taking these steps against the Sharifs, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz has decided to step up campaign to oust the PTI government. She said a few days ago that she would hold a series of rallies across the country in the near future. The first rally of the series would be held in Faisalabad on Sunday. She has also invited people in favour of a free and democratic Pakistan to join the rallies.

Political observers are of the view that confrontation between the two sides will raise political temperature in days and weeks ahead. On Tuesday, the government claimed Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had 32 benami (fictitious) companies including sugar mills and cement factories which have been frozen.

Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad along with federal ministers Hammad Azhar and Ali Zaidi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar said in connection with Omni Group case, Zardari’s properties had been frozen after investigation. “Benami shares in Thatta Cement and other companies have also been frozen,” Akbar said. Shehzad Akbar said that action against these benami properties will be taken as per law.