London visit: NAB chief takes notice of team’s ‘meetings’

ISLAMABAD –  National Accountability Bureau Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has taken notice of the NAB investigation team’s meetings with private people during its stay in the United Kingdom last week when it was probing the Avenfield corruption case against the Sharif family, sources told The Nation on Wednesday.

The sources said following the chairman’ directives, the NAB Lahore director general met the investigation team members separately and both the officers clarified their position in this connection.

They said the NAB team also handed over all the evidence it had collected against the Sharif family during the visit to the UK. According to the sources, the NAB DG appreciated the team over its satisfactory performance.

The two-member NAB team consisting of Sultan Nazir and Imran Dogar returned to Pakistan from the UK last week after having detailed meetings with officials of the National Crime Agency and exchanging documents in the Avenfield corruption case.

The NAB team also visited the UK Home Department and Pakistan High Commission in London, the sources said. The team was granted visas of the UK after receiving a positive gesture from the authorities in November last and both the NAB officers went to London on December 10, 2017.

According to media reports, Mansoor Kayani, a close friend of Awami Mulsim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, had hosted a dinner for the NAB team in London.

However, Kayani rejected all these reports and said: “I dispel the malicious campaign being run on social media by some people for their vested interests.” He clarified, “Imran has been an old friend of mine since his school days and I consider it was my duty to host a dinner for him. It had nothing to do with any facilitation.” He further made it clear that he hosted the dinner on Sunday and it had nothing to do with other professional activities of the NAB team in London.

Talking to The Nation, Kayani said NAB Investigation Officer Imran Dogar and he belonged to the same village and they were childhood friends. He said they were living in the same hostel during their college time. “I have no link to any political party of Pakistan,” he said, rejecting the reports about his affiliation with Sheikh Rashid’s party. The Nation also contacted NAB Investigation Officer Imran Dogar and the probe bureau spokesperson, but they did not respond to any call.

A senior officer of the NAB told The Nation the team violated the official protocol as they are not allowed to meet private people during any important assignment. He said the NAB pays its investigation teams in dollars as daily allowances and the best residence during their foreign assignments. He opined the NAB investigators should have avoided such kind of hospitality during their official assignment. He said the NAB team was assigned a task to investigate a corruption case of a former premier of the country.

 

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