NAB summons ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, family members for Avenfield flats reference

Pakistan       by Dawood Rehman | Published

Pakistan by Dawood Rehman | Published

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday moved to Pakistan?s Supreme Court to file an application seeking permission to record statements of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) members who probed the Panama Papers case against the Sharif family.

The NAB team, under the supervision of director general Saleem Shahzad, proceeded with its enquiry into the Avenfiled flats on Sunday morning despite the absence of the Sharif family members at the Lahore offices.

The anti-graft watchdog summoned deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain Safda in line with the Supreme Court's directives to question them related to the ownership of Avenfield flats in London. He said that review petition is not a hindrance in investigation but if Nawaz wants to stop investigation, he must have to file application because NAB's laxity is a barrier in provision of justice.

"Sharif and his sons were supposed to join the investigation today here in Lahore office but we are informed by the office of Sharif that he is not coming".

However, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have linked Mr Sharif's refusal to appear before NAB with the apex court's decision on his review petition. "Nawaz Sharif and his sons had not yet received the NAB summons".

Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz during 2013 general elections campaign.–File
Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz during 2013 general elections campaign.–File

He said that the Lahore High Court had earlier closed his case as nothing had been established against Mr Sharif.

Sharif has expressed serious concerns on the NAB investigation, saying it was unprecedented for a Supreme Court judge to supervise NAB proceedings against him and his family members to get a "desired result".

Another reference against Sharif and his sons about Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment and one regarding 16 other companies were also ordered.

This is the second time that the finance minister is being summoned by the anti-graft body for interrogation.

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