For the third consecutive time, ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons today failed to appear before the country’s top anti-graft body which is to interrogate them over the money laundering and corruption charges revealed by the Panama Papers.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued summons to Sharif and his sons — Hussain and Hasan, daughter Maryam, son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar and finance minister Ishaq Dar — to interrogate them in its Lahore office in connection with their offshore properties revealed by the Panama Papers case.
The watchdog, irked over the Sharif family’s non- cooperation, was considering writing to the interior ministry to place their names on the Exist Control List (ECL), stopping them from leaving the country.
A senior NAB official told PTI that Sharif, his sons, daughter, son-in-law and the finance minister were summoned to appear before the NAB but none of them turned up.
He said Sharif and his two sons failed to appear before the NAB for the third consecutive time while Maryam and Dar for the second and first time respectively.
The official further said the NAB would write to interior ministry to put Sharif and his family on ECL if they continued to evade the investigation.
Sharif, his children and his son-in-law were summoned in a case that primarily revolves around Maryam being a beneficiary of offshore firms.
Dar was summoned for exorbitant increase in his assets from 2008 to 2009 which was pointed out in the report of Joint Investigation Team constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate the Panama Papers case.
Earlier Sharif and his sons were summoned on Friday in a separate case involving graft and money laundering charges but they did not appear before the NAB. On last Sunday Sharif, his sons, daughter and son-in-law failed to appear before it.
Sharif, in a letter to NAB, has said he would join its investigation after a decision by the Supreme Court on his review petition against its July 28 verdict which disqualified him from the office of the prime minister.
“My family members and I will join the NAB investigation once the Supreme Court decides my review petition against my disqualification,” Sharif had said in the letter.
On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench disqualified Sharif from continuing in his office for possessing a work permit at the firm of his son in the UAE.
Sharif has also sought a stay from the Supreme Court on the further implementation of the judgement till a decision on the review petition is taken.
The apex court is likely to take up Sharif’s review petition early next month after the vacation of judges.
Dar also wrote to NAB that he would join the NAB investigation once the Supreme Court decides his review petition against its verdict to file a reference against him.
According to the JIT, Dar invested 5.5 million pounds (USD 7.04 million) in Baraq Holdings in the UAE but source of these funds were not disclosed.
Similarly the JIT said that Maryam was found to be the beneficial owner of Avenfield Properties as well as offshore companies of Nescoll and Nielsen.
The JIT report has also charged Maryam for submitting fake/falsified documents to it which is a criminal offence.