Breaking: NAB Recommends Seizure of Entire Assets of Sharif Family

Published: 02 September 2017

By Haroon Janjua

Islamabad: Pakistan’s accountability body National Accountability Bureau (NAB), whose probing ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family’s offshore wealth revealed in Panama Papers, forwarded four references Friday against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Meetings were held in NAB Lahore and Rawalpindi offices under respective director generals to the headquarters. One reference is against owning Avenfield apartments in which officials recommended the seizure of Sharif family properties and freezing of bank accounts. The second reference is against Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

NAB Lahore officials also recommended that the names of the Sharif family and Mr. Dar be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), a system of border controls maintained by the Government of Pakistan under the Exit from Pakistan.

NAB officials in the Rawalpindi office also forwarded two references to the headquarters; the first against the purchase of the Azizia Steel Mills, and the second against various industrial assets owned by the family, including the Hill Metal Establishment.

Sources recently confirmed, however, that NAB’s regional offices have also recommended seizing all Sharif family assets and freezing the bank accounts of Nawaz Sharif, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz. In addition, they added that the recommendations to include the Sharif family in the ECL were sent over a fortnight ago, but no action had yet been taken.

Last month, Sharif sought a review of a Supreme Court decision that disqualified him from office over undeclared assets.

Two weeks ago, the NAB summoned members of the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar but they refused to appear on the pretext that, until the Supreme Court decides to review their petition on the "Panama Papers" case verdict, they will not appear before the investigation team.

In July, the Supreme Court ousted Sharif and ordered a criminal probe into his family over allegations stemming from the "Panama Papers" leaks of international offshore companies.

Sharif, 67, resigned during his third stint as prime minister shortly after the Supreme Court ruled on July 28 that he should be disqualified.