NAB may open cases against Sharifs
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is preparing to take up cases against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
According to sources, the cases relate to default of Rs4.9 billion loans obtained from nine banks in 1994-95.
“Cases against Sharif brothers were to be approved in a recent NAB board meeting but were deferred on the directives of the Chairman, Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari,” an official of the bureau said on Monday.
The chairman is reported to have said that all pending cases about politicians would be taken up soon.
The NAB spokesman was not available for comment.
The bureau had earlier frozen some assets of the Sharif family against which the loans had been taken.
The Supreme Court upheld in January a judgment of the Lahore High Court asking NAB to release the assets of the Sharif family. It dismissed an appeal by NAB Prosecutor General K.K. Agha against LHC’s Oct 4, 2011, directive to the bureau to return Rs115 million and property of Hudabiya Paper Mills lying with the National Bank, Islamabad.
The sources said the assets had not been released so far.
The prosecutor general had told the Supreme Court that before heading to Saudi Arabia in December 2002, Nawaz Sharif had consented to return money to NAB under an agreement.
When contacted, PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah said the party’s chief and his family were not defaulters of any bank loan. “That was the reason Nawaz Sharif demanded of the government to make public details of all bank loans not repaid by politicians,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said the value of the frozen assets was far higher than the amount of loans obtained. “Once their assets are released, they will pay the loans,” he said.
The loans were taken from the NBP, Habib Bank, United Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Punjab Mudaraba, Bank of Punjab, Agriculture Development Bank, Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation and ICP Bank.
During the proceedings in the Supreme Court, the NAB prosecutor general submitted an agreement signed by Nawaz Sharif and the Musharraf government.
The LHC had declared the taking over of property of the petitioners as unconstitutional, ultra vires under NAO, 1999, and without lawful authority. It had also ordered payment of compensatory cost of Rs150,000 per petition to Hudabiya mills, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Mian Mohammad Abbas Sharif.