NAB serves notices to Shahbaz’s wife, daughters - GulfToday

NAB serves notices to Shahbaz’s wife, daughters

Shehbaz-Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif. File

Tariq Butt

The Lahore chapter of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) served notices to two daughters and first wife of leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif to appear before it next week.

The Sharif family said that the NAB teams raided the residences of these ladies. However, the NAB denied that raids were conducted.

The notices were served to Rabia Imran, Javeria Ali and Begum Nusrat Shahbaz.

Leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz has been asked to appear before the NAB Lahore in relation to the assets beyond means case on April 16 and in relation to the Chiniot drain case on April 15.

Begum Nusrat Shahbaz has been asked to appear before NAB Lahore on April 17, and daughters — Rabia and Javeria have been summoned by the anti-graft watchdog on April 18 and April 19 respectively.

On Friday, a combined investigation team (CIT) of NAB grilled Hamza Shahbaz for two hours at the NAB Complex. He has been accused of accumulating assets beyond his known means of income.

Hamza hit out at NAB proceedings against the Sharif family, saying the way it operated was a disgrace to the people. “The NAB has been politicised and it has become clear that it’s a tool being used by the government trying to victimise us,” he said while addressing a press conference.

He said the NAB Lahore chief, during one of his visits to his office, had asked him to settle the matters with the government so that the NAB comes out of the pressure. Additionally, he said, he was asked by the NAB chief to withdraw a motion from the Punjab Assembly seeking a debate on his fake educational degree.

The remarks came hours after members of his family were issued summons by the corruption watchdog, and recommended to be put on the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL).

The PML-N leader said the NAB was quick to issue notices to the Sharif family “but quivers to take action against the flagrant corruption perpetrated by the leaders sitting in the government.”

The government, he said, had not only ruined the economy but also broken the back of the public with the increase in utility prices.

Hamza attacked Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that the actions against the Sharif family were the result of the “NAB-Niazi [Imran Khan] nexus.”

Later in a statement, the NAB said that the purpose of its officials’ visit to the residences of Rabia and Javeria was to serve them notices summoning them to the NAB office for investigation regarding money laundering and accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income.

It claimed that the summons notices are to be handed over to the suspects in person, adding that NAB officials were accompanied by a sole police vehicle, which was for the team’s security.

The statement said that describing its officials’ visit as a raid was a “fabricated propaganda by certain sections to tarnish NAB”.

Furthermore, NAB asked “the media to do live coverage of the residences so that truth can be separated from exaggeration.”

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb asked that “under what law had NAB and police surrounded [Rabia and Javeria] homes.”

In the meantime, the NAB Lahore has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to place the names of both the aforementioned Sharif’s daughters as well as his wife Begum Nusrat on the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) since “the process of placing their names on the Exit Control List (ECL) is under process.”

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and NAB have traded barbs once again after the accountability watchdog ordered an inquiry into the minister’s tweet on Aleem Khan’s case.

It all started when the minister through his official account on Twitter stated that “Case against Aleem Khan (a senior PTI leader) is less severe. If those charged with devouring billions of rupees can easily get bail then bail should also be granted to a businessman who faces no charges of causing loss to the national exchequer.”

Chaudhry tweeted that “There is a general impression that Aleem Khan is being punished for a crime he never committed because of the hue and cry from the opposition.”

Before NAB, the minister’s tweet caught the attention of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which termed the statement proof that the NAB is not working independently.