RAWALPINDI - The accountability court Tuesday acquitted Sharif brothers and their other family members in the Ittefaq Foundry reference while dismissing the plea of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of re-opening the reference against the political figures of the country.

Those who got the clean chit in the case included Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, their brother Abbas Sharif (late) and father Muhammad Sharif (late).

The court judge Sohail Nasir held proceedings in the NAB plea of re-opening Ittefaq Foundry reference against Sharif brothers and their family. The judge rejected the plea and remarked that the case was based on political revenge as there was no dispute between Sharif family and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

NBP Wapda House Lahore Zonal Chief and Manager in December 1999 lodged a complaint with Chairman NAB against Sharif family and stated that Ittefaq Foundry was defaulter of NBP since 1994 to the tune of Rs 1.06 billion. He added that the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif on June 11, 1998 had announced to hand over his assets to the creditor banks to release the loans of Sharif family by selling them.

The reference said that on December 10, 1999, Zonal Chief and Manager National Bank Wapda House Lahore addressed a complaint to chairman NAB against the Sharif family.

The complaint stated that the company was in default to the NBP to the tune of Rs 1.06 billion since 1994.

It added the incumbent prime minister on June 11, 1998, had announced to hand over his assets to the creditor banks to release the loans of Sharif Family by selling the same.

The Sharif family had also admitted their liability of Rs728,561,003 against the claim of the bank of Rs1,063,162,937. However, the military taken over the country on October 12, 1999, and Sharif went in to exile.

Later, NAB had arrested Ittefaq Foundry Director Dr Mukhtar, who had been named as a guarantor to return the loan. His wife had challenged his arrest in the Lahore High Court. After the family returned from exile, NAB reopened the case at LHC and notices were issued to the family.

After hearing, the LHC had directed the NAB to release the guarantor. Besides, the LHC also set aside the reference saying there was no solid evidence against the family. Later, the NAB had knocked the doors of Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).

Nonetheless, NBP on November 26, 2014 apprised the court that the Ittefaq Foundry had paid all their pending bank loans and there was nothing outstanding against them. Therefore, the reference should be withdrawn against Sharif family.