ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar on Wednesday said that the anti-corruption body would file references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children, the finance minister and others within the time frame given by the Supreme Court.

Addressing an event, “Meet the Press” at the NAB headquarters along with Director-General (Operations) Zahir Shah, Tajwar said that the NAB was working fully independently and it had recovered Rs288 billion so far.

He said the anti-graft body was also signing agreements to bring transparency in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. 

Tajwar said conviction was very difficult in cases of white-collar crime but still NAB won many cases in accountability courts and high courts.

He said the NAB respects all institutions and political parties and added that media had the right to criticise but it should also focus on the achievements of the NAB.

NAB Prosecutor-General Waqas Qadeer Dar, while speaking on the occasion said the NAB had recorded the statement of the chief of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Wajid Zia and the reference would be filed within the time frame given by the Supreme Court.

NAB DG (Operations) Zahir Shah said that the bureau had received all records related to the Sharif family in four references.

He said the NAB was also getting feedback from different countries on volume-10 of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report.

Shah said the investigation team was working hard in preparation of references against the disqualified PM, his family and others.

He said the preparation of four references within six weeks was not an easy task.

Shah said the apex court had clearly asked the NAB that it would not extend the deadline. 

He also rejected media reports regarding NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry’s role in acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in illegal assets case. 

He said Ehtesab Bureau first filed the reference against Asif Zardari in 1998.

Later, the case was transferred to the NAB, which was created in 2001.

The NAB filed a supplementary reference and collected record and evidence from local and foreign sources, Shah added.

He said the responsibility of missing record in the case did not fall on the NAB as one official related to the case had died, while the other was not available after a lapse of so many years.

Shah said the NAB would decide whether to file an appeal against Asif Zardari’s acquittal after receiving the detail order.

Replying to a question regarding Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, Shah said the prosecution wing of the bureau was going through the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision in the case.

He said that it would decide to file appeal in the SC for reopening the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case on the recommendations of the NAB’s legal wing.

Shah said bureau had completed about 6,300 inquiries, of which 56 per cent matured into formal investigation and more than 80 per cent investigations were taken to the stage of prosecution in courts of law.